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How to Shift to a New Approach for Cybersecurity Asset Management

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Information governance
(Source: Pixabay)

It's no secret that pandemic-induced lockdowns and safety measures have driven millions of people to work from home. This has resulted in an explosion of Internet of Things (IoT) devices, cloud computing, and other mobile device usage to keep businesses functioning remotely.

The increased use of these tools blurs the role and shape of the traditional network perimeter and increases the attack surface for bad actors. This means modern enterprises need to reassess their cybersecurity asset management to ensure all networks and devices are secure. Moreover, they also need to fulfill the bandwidth requirements to let remote staff access office networks securely and comfortably.

Let’s explore how companies are updating their security approaches to protect devices at the edge with a new approach to asset management.

Why prioritize cybersecurity asset management?

While 5G is going mainstream and making it easier to create an everywhere perimeter through improved speed and capacity, it disintegrates the organization's former control over network security. Businesses want to guard their applications, customer data, and corporate info while also meeting regulatory obligations, but there are more devices and access options than ever.

Cybersecurity asset management helps businesses identify their IT assets on a real-time and continuous basis and document potential security gaps that each device creates. Assets include physical devices like servers and laptops and software-defined resources like company-owned domains or cloud-based databases. Any resource, device, or service that is part of an organization's IT estate can be subjected to vulnerabilities, so it is essential to perform a vulnerability assessment to identify and quantify potential threats and vulnerabilities.

An attacker can use any compromised source to launch a more powerful attack, which is why having cybersecurity asset management is essential for any organization. One of the most significant risks of having poor cybersecurity asset management is business disruptions. A data breach could make essential business data or systems unavailable and make you incapable of operating until everything is recovered.

Besides the loss of data, disruptions can also potentially harm a business's reputation and financial stability. For instance, IT downtime usually costs companies around $5,600 per minute on average. So, apart from establishing your organization's cybersecurity, you should also invest in a comprehensive insurance plan to help cover your assets in the event of a disaster.

Lack of cybersecurity asset management can make it challenging to reclaim and deploy security resources at difficult times. In addition, since the security team won't have an accurate listing of resources, it will hinder a prompt response.

This will put the team in a position where they will have to find and secure devices manually. The organization might lose both time and money in the process. Hence, it must invest in preventative cybersecurity measures to protect networks from attack.

How can SASE address cyber challenges?

Businesses are on the lookout for ways to create secure networks for a more efficient connection with remote employees and to protect employee, customer, and business data. If your employees are working on a borderless network perimeter like 5G, their visibility needs to be reduced to stay off an attacker's radar. Your security manager must therefore analyze and resolve any visibility flaws in the network that might put your company at risk. 

To address this concern, Secure Access Service Edge is becoming the new approach to cybersecurity asset management. It has the capacity to provide support to the users and offer more comprehensive visibility. It also allows them to control the activities with a unified approach to networking and security.

SASE is the most advanced way to address cybersecurity asset management challenges because it combines Network-as-a-Service with Security-as-a-Service capabilities that meet an organization's needs. It includes services like secure web gateways, Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) services, firewall-as-a-service, and zero-trust access delivered mainly from the cloud.

SASE is considered the future of network security, allowing organizations to implement centralized policy enforcement at globally distributed points of presence (PoPs) based on identity. This is not a new technology but rather a new approach for organizations to look for more flexible and secure ways to connect their users with data centers and cloud resources.

SASE can help you tackle remote access service challenges and replaces the need for organizations to use a VPN to connect with the office network before starting to use company cloud services. Some 5G network carriers already integrate SASE as a managed service to counter access challenges. It gives them increased oversight and allows them to establish prompt responsiveness to security incidents.

Protecting the everywhere perimeter

As remote employees increasingly use cloud services and 5G, the perimeter grows, and the enterprise may often struggle to centralize consistent security policies. There are a few necessary steps to take to adapt to the changing security landscape:

Educate your teams on edge security

Security teams will need to update their credentials to meet the new needs of edge security. Many security experts have been in the field for decades, and the traditional approaches may no longer cut it. Consider providing your security teams with online education to update their cybersecurity toolboxes.

There are comprehensive programming camps available that will take around fifteen weeks to complete on average, or shorter seminars and courses available to learn about data management and protection at the edge. There are also plenty of free resources on cloud-based systems through providers like AWS.

Protect critical systems with network segmentation

Organizations need to adopt a holistic approach if they want to protect their critical data and systems. They need to isolate the traffic of one application from the other and prevent the wrong people from accessing wide sections of the network.

An important way to reduce attack surfaces is to segment your networks, thereby decreasing the damage hackers can do if they access one part of the system. Separating networks for critical applications can protect an organization's confidential data if one network comes under attack, as this will restrict the attack from expanding across the networks of the whole enterprise.

Hyper-segmentation also allows organizations to establish borders that can reduce attack profile, defend against unauthorized lateral movement, provide breach isolation, and make anomaly scanning more effective.

Use stealth networking to outsmart hackers

The IP-based fabric that is usually used in enterprises is vulnerable to attacks. These are easy to invade and enable lateral movement of attackers across the network once they break in.

However, IP underlays are not used in the Ethernet-based fabric, limiting the network's visibility and reducing attack opportunities. This "stealth networking" technique will make your network "dark," and the potential attackers won't be able to detect it. This is an important way to protect remote employees from increased security vulnerabilities while working from home.

Ethernet-based stealth networking leaves no possibility of hopping between networks. In addition, these networks have been proven to deliver hyper-segmentation for virtual service networks (VSNs). Combining hyper-segmentation with ethernet-based fabric can help you in outsmarting hackers and protecting your networks.

Conclusion

As businesses become more cloud-based and wide-spread, they need to assess their cybersecurity policies to make their network security impenetrable. Every edge and corner of their network should be secure so employees can access it without the risk of letting a hacker into the network.

It's time to rethink the approach to asset management and integrate SASE in your enterprise. With a SASE architecture, the access requirements of enterprises can be dealt with securely, regardless of employee location. This will create a secure and efficient everywhere perimeter for any organization.