As the world undergoes digital transformation and organizations increasingly move their data to the cloud, cybersecurity is becoming an ever-present concern. When businesses are conducted in borderless, virtual environments, sensitive company information becomes more vulnerable to attacks by cybercriminals.
The recent escalation in remote work and ‘bring your own device’ (BYOD) culture has further aggravated the risk of cyberattacks, as employees access company data using their personal networks and ISPs.
This not only applies to large enterprises but also to academic and healthcare institutions, government and military organizations, and even small businesses. In fact, approximately half of all cyberattacks today are targeted at small businesses, 60% of whom don’t even survive them. This makes cybersecurity a top priority for all organizations.
What is cybersecurity?
Cybersecurity, also known as IT security, refers to the standards, processes, and technologies that an organization uses to protect its IT infrastructure, which ranges from network systems and IT hardware to software applications and cloud storage platforms used by a company.
The primary purpose of cybersecurity is to shield a company against malicious cyberattacks. These typically aim at accessing, altering, or deleting a company’s sensitive information so as to interrupt business operations and extort money from victimized businesses.
Growth in cyberattacks is on the rise
In the past few years, companies have suffered considerable financial losses owing to the consequent liability claims by their stakeholders. Here are some statistics on the rise in cyberattacks and the damage they inflict.
- Every 39 seconds, a hacking attempt is launched by cybercriminals.
- 73 percent of US companies have reported a breach at some point in the past years.
- In 2018, businesses saw an increase in ransomware attacks by 350%, spoofing or business email compromise attacks by 250%, and spear-phishing attacks by 70%.
- More than half a billion personal records were stolen by hackers in 2019 alone.
- 45 percent of wearable hardware and connected devices have suffered a data breach in the past year.
- 80 percent of enterprises don’t have cybersecurity prevention measures in place.
- The average cost of a data breach is expected to reach $150 million by 2020.
These figures clearly indicate that IT departments of organizations must establish a robust cybersecurity framework.
IT and Network Admins should take strict measures to ensure that their IT infrastructure is protected from all endpoints, IT security best practices are followed and the company’s practices adhere to the widely accepted cybersecurity standards.
Businesses can mitigate the risk of cyberattacks by deploying IT asset management software. Since IT asset management software keeps a consolidated overview of a business’s IT assets, peripherals, and endpoints, it plays a critical role in enhancing IT security.
AssetSonar offers built-in features that ensure your IT devices and the data stored in them are always guarded against breaches. We also implement various industry best practices so that you’re always compliant with international information security standards.
Here are five ways you can use AssetSonar to enhance your cybersecurity framework.
1. Strengthen network security with firewall
As your employees use different networks to access company data stored in public clouds, there’s a greater chance for cybercriminals to attack your systems. In this case, a firewall is your first line of defense against network security breaches.
It monitors the incoming and outgoing traffic across your network and selectively blocks access attempts from outside networks based on its specified cybersecurity rules. You can also run detailed reports regarding your network’s traffic. This helps with regulatory compliance and troubleshooting connectivity errors.
But, how does AssetSonar come into play? Our IT asset management software scans all the IT assets within which its Agent is installed for firewall hardware or software. It tells whether your devices are firewall-protected and whether the firewall is updated to preclude any security vulnerabilities in the network.
To do so, you must mass install an updated version of the AssetSonar Agent in all your IT devices. Go to Settings → Company Settings → ITAM Discovery Agent.
Download the Agent for your preferred system and configure it. Then click ‘Sync Now’.
If you navigate to the Asset Details page of a discovered IT asset, you’ll find a new tab labeled ‘Security Information’. This lists down any firewalls installed in the said IT asset.
A firewall scan by IT asset management software is of added benefit in recent times when businesses manage remote employees that access company data from various locations. It prevents unauthorized connections and malicious software from entering your network. You can also do away with network vulnerabilities like open ports or unwanted VPNs.
Additionally, firewalls can help enforce company policies by tracking internet usage. You can monitor your employees’ productivity by seeing whether they use office hours to stream TV or movies at home.
2. Enforce hardware security
AssetSonar ensures hardware security by scanning your IT assets for the following:
- Disk encryption status
- Antivirus software
2.1. Disk encryption status
Disk encryption protects the data stored in your computers’ hard drives by converting it into an unreadable code that cannot be deciphered by unauthorized users.
To view the disk encryption status, go to the relevant IT Asset’s Details page. Click on the tab ‘Hardware Details’, and scroll below to the ‘Disk and Drives’ section. This reveals which hard drives are encrypted and which aren’t.
AssetSonar also shows what percentage of the hard drive data is encrypted. A FileVault value of 100% indicates full encryption, whereas a percentage lower than 100 signals a gap in the disk encryption. Alternatively, the value ‘ — ’ indicates that the hard drives aren’t encrypted at all.
With this information, IT Admins can take appropriate actions so that all hard drives are fully secured. Full disk encryption ensures that the drive data is inaccessible without the correct key, even if the drive is put in another device or is disposed of.
2.2. Antivirus software
AssetSonar also scans your IT assets for antivirus software. It displays which antivirus software is installed in a device and whether it is up to date.
Antivirus scans by AssetSonar ensure that your devices are guarded against ransomware and phishing attacks. The increasingly popular ransomware attacks hold a company’s data hostage, with a threat to erase it unless the company pays a ransom. Such attacks can cause organizations a fortune. With robust cybersecurity measures in place, you can avoid hefty ransom payments.
Similarly, AssetSonar scans your devices for anti-spyware as illustrated:
An active and updated anti-spyware system immunizes your hardware and blocks malicious infections like spyware and adware from entering into your IT infrastructure.
AssetSonar scans facilitate constant vigilance and keep your IT team updated about the status of cybersecurity measures so that your data is secure at all times.
You can also run Custom Reports in AssetSonar to get an overview of the security compliance of your hardware estate. Learn more.
3. Customize user access rights
You may shield your devices from external cyberattacks, however, your data is still prone to getting leaked by an insider. This makes it imperative for IT Admins to implement internal controls and authorize only certain personnel to access and take actions on sensitive IT information.
An IT asset management system helps in this regard with customized user roles. You can set up granular access permissions for each user or set of users, and authorize them to take only specified actions.
Similarly, you can limit the visibility of certain IT assets based on the group, location, or both. This is particularly useful when you’re managing different departments or teams within an organization. For instance, the IT department will get greater visibility into IT assets than the Finance team.
4. Ensure compliance with IT security standards
AssetSonar implements widely accepted security best practices so you’re always compliant. We are ISO 27001 certified. Our ITAM software safeguards the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of all your data. This includes identifying, monitoring, and eradicating any potential information security risks — especially those that relate to IT asset tracking, software licensing, and access control.
We also give added confidence to the European users with our GDPR compliance. Since we allow businesses to track the whereabouts and use of their IT assets, it’s not just us that comply with GDPR but we also enable our customers to comply with GDPR regulations.
You can add users as Data Subjects and Data Controllers with certain data privacy rights. Furthermore, our IT asset management system offers features for declaration of consent, data portability, and data erasure so you can secure your company’s data in the face of a security vulnerability.
Virtual private cloud: Advanced protection against cyberattacks
AssetSonar takes IT security to an advanced level by offering a virtual private cloud (VPC) to enterprises with special security needs. A VPC is a secure and single-tenant cloud, hosted within a public cloud. It stores the data of only one enterprise and is guarded by various security protocols, for instance, VPNs, IP address ranges, and data encryption. This means that your critical IT data is stored away from the data of other companies and it can only be accessed by authorized users.
Our virtual private cloud instances are hosted on the AWS infrastructure that is ranked as one of the world’s best cloud computing services. It has robust controls in place to maintain security and data protection in the cloud.
AssetSonar makes cybersecurity a top priority with its in-built features, secure cloud hosting, and compliance with industry standards.
AssetSonar is the leading IT asset management software built on AWS. It offers a virtual private cloud to enterprises with strict cybersecurity needs. Stay on top of all your data governance workflows with our ITAM solution.