How Can Asset Discovery be of Benefit to Your Organisation?

Despite the trend to move applications to the cloud, there is still a need for companies to maintain a private network within their organisation. While there is no rush away from cloud computing to application repatriation, there are good reasons why companies chose to maintain their private networks:

  • Business requirements have changed 
  • Financial gains haven’t been met by moving to the cloud
  • Poor Broadband may cause much downtime 
  • There may be latency issues for business-critical applications
  • There may be security concerns
  • The organisation may just want more control

Business-Critical applications may be better suited to a private network if they have any of the following characteristics:

  • Database applications requiring high
  • I/O speeds Graphics-intensive applications for Architects and Designers 
  • Applications accessed externally from the network 
  • Applications not cost-effective to host in the cloud 
  • Applications that are necessary to control local access 
  • Applications that cannot be dependent on ISP speeds

What is Asset Discovery?

Asset Discovery is the process of identifying and gathering details on the physical devices connecting to your network. These devices will range from hardware devices such as Servers, PC’s and Laptops to Switches and Tablets. Building a detailed topology of your network is an important exercise to collect as it allows Network Administrators to make better decisions regarding Cyber Security. By understanding what devices are connecting to your network, you can begin to identify devices that should be removed for security purposes or should be decommissioned due to age or functionality.

Computer Network

Why is Asset Discovery Important?

As companies grow and expand across multiple regions, corporate networks also increase in size and complexity. With the advent of new technology, schemes such as BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) makes it easier for employees to collaborate and connect. Schemes such as BYOD can be a challenge for organisations as they introduce new cyber threats from individually controlled devices connecting to the network.

As these devices are not controlled by network security, they pose a real threat to the wider organisation.

 What are the Benefits of asset discovery?

1. Data-Driven Decisions

Asset Discovery reports help IT Administrators to monitor and maintain their IT Asset Register. By having full visibility of all devices connecting across a disparate network, aged devices can be identified, decommissioned and replaced in accordance with company policies.

2. Efficient Management of Software Licenses

A second benefit of Asset Discovery relates to software license management. Maintaining a database of 3rd party software providers makes it easy to identify licensed and unlicensed software across your network. Unlicensed software can lead to fines by vendors as well as reputational damage and so is an important factor for companies to consider.

3. Identification of Unauthorised Software

A major challenge for internal cyber teams is identifying and eliminating unauthorised software that has been downloaded and installed on devices that have access to the company network. 

Companies are focused on delivering the best possible work experience for their employees to ensure staff are happy and retention levels remain high, this will involve giving staff some level of control over what non-work related applications they can access via the company network.  

The challenge for the IT department is to have good visibility of the applications being used, their threat to the organisation and establishing a balance between keeping staff happy and remaining secure.

Regular Asset Discovery will help keep this balance in check, unless however, the Network Admin team are part of the problem. The paradox here is that in some cases, unauthorised software found on a device may have been originally installed by the Admin Team.

Applications such as TeamViewer or Log-me-in can be installed by IT Support staff when resolving Support Tickets for end-users.

These applications allow remote access to the end-users device to fix problems, the threats occurs when the Support Team does not un-install the applications after the Support Ticket has been closed, thus leaving the device vulnerable to external attack via the installed application.

4. Important Information on Network-Connected Devices

By building a comprehensive understanding of your IT Asset Register, your Admin team will better visualise your network topology.

This information, enables you to better understand vulnerabilities present within your network. Asset Discovery enables you understand several areas:

The actual number of devices connecting to your network over a specific period The location and concentration of devices across multiple locations Vulnerabilities present in your on-premise network.  Origin and manufacturer of each device

A proper Asset Discovery audit should provide you with an visual representation of your network which highlights any risks that should be addressed as a priority.


GuardYoo Asset Discovery

The GuardYoo platform delivers a full Asset Discovery as part of its Compromise Assessment audit service. As GuardYoo retrospectively analyses historic Log Data that has been collected over a specific period, all devices that have connected to a network will be identified and recorded. 

The longer a GuardYoo customer holds their Log Data, the more information will be included in the audit. For example, devices that only occasionally connect to the network might be missed by other Asset Discovery reports as they do not retrospectively look back over a long period of time. As part of the service, GuardYoo will also identify all unauthorised software that has been deployed by end-users as well as any remote access software that has been deployed to resolve support issues but not un-installed afterward.

GuardYoo also provides a visual graphic of the network topology, which allows Admin Teams to identify where devices sit across the infrastructure. GuardYoo utilises a holistic approach to Compromise Assessment: analysing all available Log Data, enriching extracted Retrospective Events with Situational Context and Asset Inventory information. This enables a deep multi-layer analysis that reveals even the most hidden dormant cyber threats.

Compromise Assessment

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