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Gaining Asset Intelligence to Strengthen Cybersecurity

Branded Content | 5 min read
Gaining Asset Intelligence to Strengthen Cybersecurity

Securing an organisation's assets in today’s increasingly complex landscape has never been more challenging. Modern digital environments are incredibly diverse and extend across a multitude of platforms – from traditional IT assets to public clouds and containers, SaaS applications, mobile devices, and more.

It should not come as a surprise that conventional approaches to asset management are proving inadequate in the face of this complexity. Cybersecurity leaders are cognisant that they cannot secure systems that they are not aware of and know they need a clearer view of their entire digital landscape. The question is how?

A traditional ITSM solution may have a view of maybe 20% and 30% of the IT assets that they have, which makes it ineffective; you can't secure assets that you don't know you have. – Kang Yeong Wong, Vice President of Sales, APAC, Axonius 

The shortfalls of traditional asset management

It is worth taking a step back to consider why traditional asset management approaches fall short in the first place. As noted earlier, digital systems have evolved rapidly from yesteryear’s client-server deployments to a smorgasbord of systems spread across physical systems, cloud-based services, and virtual assets in the cloud and inside on-premises data centres.

Between Kubernetes containers on GCP, productivity tools on Office 365, and scores of SaaS services, most IT assets are no longer tangible hardware with a serial number and a Kensington lock slot. As more systems fall outside the domain of asset management tools, the typical response is to turn to Excel spreadsheets or other manual tracking mechanisms. 

Unfortunately, the ad-hoc efforts of disparate teams are often incomplete and culminate in silos of information that makes it next to impossible to properly assess potential cyber security risks and vulnerabilities. Moreover, static information goes out of date quickly and is ill-suited to the realities of modern environments where software updates happen all the time and fluid cyber security boundaries are constantly shifting. 

The result is an inability to stop incidents from occurring due to loopholes and gaps across the entire enterprise infrastructure. From rogue devices, forgotten components that stay unpatched, and active cloud resources that lie unused, modern enterprises are littered with hidden systems that represent a maddening quagmire for the CISO – and a treasure trove of opportunities for hackers.

From asset management to asset intelligence

A fresh approach is needed to manage modern IT assets. Not only must asset management solutions track hardware systems, but they should also include cloud and virtual assets, software, and cloud services. This information must be comprehensive, be constantly updated, and represent a single source of truth for both IT and security departments.

One way to achieve this is to tap into the rich array of existing tools, management platforms, and network discovery solutions, piecing the data together to harness its intelligence. The key is to properly correlate this data, weeding out duplicates or obsolete data, and reconciling discrepancies to create a unified asset repository that accurately portrays the entire enterprise.

This repository should be automatically updated as assets are added, removed, or modified, ensuring that the information remains current and accurate. Furthermore, it should support advanced analytics and reporting capabilities to enable informed decision-making and proactive risk management. Only when this happens can organisations gain a complete view of their assets for the asset intelligence they need to properly secure their infrastructure.

By adopting this comprehensive approach to asset management, organisations gain a clear understanding of their digital landscape to quickly identify potential vulnerabilities and prioritise remediation efforts based on risk. This will ultimately lead to a more secure and resilient infrastructure, capable of withstanding the ever-evolving cyber threats of our world today.

Meeting CCoP2.0 requirements

In 2022, the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA) published the second edition of the Cybersecurity Code of Practice for Critical Information Infrastructure or CCoP2.0. Among others, this update specifies the minimum cybersecurity requirements that a Critical Information Infrastructure Owner (CIIO) should implement. 

The following are recommendations for CIIO to ensure asset security and meet CCoP2.0 asset management requirements.

  • Automated asset discovery: Maintaining an up-to-date inventory of assets is essential for good cybersecurity posture, but it’s become increasingly difficult. As noted earlier, working with traditional methods such as spreadsheets and siloed repositories is time-consuming and prone to error, leading to significant knowledge gaps that exacerbate security challenges.
  • Enumerate vulnerabilities across discovered assets: CCoP2.0 requires CIIOs to monitor for new vulnerabilities and apply security patches in a timely manner. Instead of forcing security personnel to maintain a running tally of known vulnerabilities and painstakingly comb through existing systems, an automated system can quickly correlate information from disparate sources and assets can greatly simplify asset and vulnerability management for organisations to stay compliant.
  • Incident response: Per CCoP2.0, CIIOs need effective incident response. Asset intelligence with adequate context around devices, which users are (or were) associated with them, and rich information from numerous data sources in one place can greatly bolster the efforts of security analysts to gain a full understanding of an event to respond quickly and effectively.

The complete confidence to control complexity

“Good enough” cyber security is no longer adequate. CISOs need complete confidence that they have total and clear visibility into every asset, security gap, and potential vulnerability. They also need to be able to manage, remediate, and report on all three of them very quickly.

Axonius was created to deliver asset intelligence and help organisations meet CCoP2.0 obligations. Our solutions can help organisations create a comprehensive asset inventory to identify security gaps and enforce current or future cybersecurity requirements. 

Our work with federal governments exemplifies the effectiveness of automated cybersecurity asset management as a fundamental component of meeting federal mandates, including those set forth by the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA).

Axonius is exhibiting at GovWare 2023, Asia’s premier cybersecurity event. To learn more, visit us at GovWare 2023. We’re at booth B13, toward the left when you enter the GovWare Exhibition Hall at Level 1, Sands Expo and Convention Centre. Can’t wait until GovWare? Request a demo by clicking here.



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