4 Common Cybersecurity Asset Management Challenges - & How to Solve Them


If you're responsible for managing, securing, tracking, or even monitoring assets, you've probably come across your fair share of challenges.

When talking to our customers, we found five challenges came up time and again:

  1. Aggregating Data

    To have visibility into your environment, you need to pull data about your assets from every possible source.

    That's easier said than done — but this essential step is foundational for solving every other challenge discussed below.

    Solving It

    When it comes to aggregating data, almost every tool that knows about an asset has an API.

    For example, Axonius can gather detailed asset information because the solution integrates with over 250 security and management tools that have published APIs.

    Whether you decide to use a product or go it alone, APIs are available for almost any tool that knows about assets.

  2. Finding Unmanaged Devices

    We're defining unmanaged devices as those unknown to a management system and without a security agent installed.

    An unmanaged device can be as innocuous as a webcam, or as significant as an unpatched Raspberry Pi connected to a production network.

    Solving It

    To discover unmanaged devices, gather data from the network (solutions like network management consoles and VA scanners) and data from agent-based solutions.

    This will help you understand which devices are network-connected and which are covered by agents. Then you can identify the devices that are present, but not managed.

  3. Inventorying at Scale

    It's the culmination of the first two cybersecurity asset management challenges: you need to pull data on all managed and unmanaged devices.

    While this can be done, it takes a really long time. We're talking 80+ man-hours — and it gets out of date quickly.

    Solving It

    To address issues of scale, it's important to have customizable data aggregation frequency per data source.

    For example, asking Active Directory to give real-time updates will negatively impact performance. But getting asset data from a public cloud provider is as close to real-time as possible.

    Ultimately, scaling an asset inventory must accommodate the downstream impact of the source.

  4. Testing Compliance

    Without that comprehensive inventory, it's impossible to understand whether all assets adhere to or deviate from compliance requirements.

    And without the ability to constantly monitor and validate how dynamic changes to the environment relate to compliance, point-in-time compliance checks become obsolete.

    Solving It

    The only way to test adherence is by understanding each compliance requirement and seeing exactly how every device, user, and security control map to what's mandated.

    For example, companies with a heavy public cloud footprint may choose to use the CIS Benchmarks to evaluate whether all cloud instances match industry best practices for security.

    For end user devices, organizations might use the CIS 20, NIST, or industry-specific regulations like HIPAA, PCI, or others to determine whether assets are compliant.

Solving Cybersecurity Asset Management Challenges

Solving these challenges starts with aggregating data, discovering which devices are unmanaged, having an accurate inventory, and understanding how every asset relates to compliance.

Whether you do this through a cybersecurity asset management platform or on your own, the information is out there. It's just a matter of bringing it all together, understanding how every asset relates to security controls, and knowing when changes occur.

Axonius solves all of these challenges and more. Explore our platform now.

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