Cybersecurity Information Technology Asset Management

information technology asset management - Dynamic QuestGiven how fast data and information theft are evolving, it’s vital that a company’s cybersecurity system is able to keep up. Measures must be in place to deal with event-based activities that often remain undetected by traditional security protocols. A significant part of your threat mitigation strategy should involve Information Technology Asset Management, or ITAM.

What is ITAM?

Information Technology Asset Management is a collection of processes aimed at managing the inventory and lifecycle of technological assets. An effective ITAM program will help reduce both IT costs and risks, and result in improved productivity. That said, ITAM is more than just counting things. Aside from the purchase, assignment, and disposal of assets, it oversees installed programs and ensures the minimum security provisions are present. With ITAM, your devices are kept up to date with the latest patches and fixes.

What are the components of an ITAM program?

A comprehensive ITAM program should cover all stages of a hardware/software’s lifecycle. It will assist members of the company in using devices in the most effective manner. The management solution should cover the following stages in an asset’s life:

  • Purchase
  • Deployment
  • Maintenance
  • Utilization
  • Disposal

How can ITAM make your business more secure?

ITAM is not just about threat detection; it also aids in preventing further damage and resolving any issue in the soonest possible time. When a threat is identified, ITAM helps to isolate the compromised asset, preventing it from spreading to other areas of the network. This ultimately helps prevent unauthorized individuals from making changes to the desktop or operating system –viz. deleting, copying, uploading files, running unauthorized programs and applications, etc. It also gives your department the ability to quickly block or limit the access of any user as the situation requires.

A solid ITAM will provide your IT Department with a bird’s eye view of all the assets that make up your network. It allows you to set alerts based on age or patch level of devices to let you know when it’s time to take action on outdated or vulnerable assets. Essentially, ITAM gives you vision through the fog.

How can ITAM save your business time and money?

A reliable Information Technology Asset Management system can have an immediate impact on your business. It allows your IT personnel to relax, knowing the infrastructure is well maintained. Allowing them to focus their energy on more productive undertakings. Without ITAM, your IT department spends a large portion of their time manually watching over your assets as best they can. ITAM transfers that burden from IT administrators to a reactive automated system.

ITAM saves your IT department time and resources by mitigating the risks of desktops requiring repairs due to user fault. Allowing a user to install and run any program or application he wants is not advisable. An ITAM database can determine whether the software a user attempts to install is necessary to perform her work effectively. Then automatically install, or prevent the install of, said software. This eliminates the need to provide standard users with administrative privileges over their desktops. The fewer unnecessary programs on a computer, the lower the risks. In short, ITAM significantly improves accountability.

How can you implement ITAM in your business?

  1. The IT requirements of the organization are evaluated, and the best combination of hardware, software, and other options is determined.
  2. A standard list of hardware and software each position requires is created, and each personnel is assigned specific devices that already have all the programs and applications she may need.
  3. Each employee’s use of assigned device(s) is tracked and documented.
  4. Device maintenance/replacement, as well as software updates, are streamlined.
  5. Standards of the disposal of assets are set, and each “end of life” event is documented.

Ultimately, a sound ITAM will not only help control inventory, but help you meet required compliances, and improve accountability. Supplement your security capabilities with Information Technology Asset Management, and consider going a step further with Identity and Access Management (IAM). If you have any questions about ITAM, IAM, or general cybersecurity inquiries, contact Dynamic Quest. We’re happy to be of service.