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IT Security Threats That May be Lurking in Your Assets


Information Security, Assets, and IT Security Threats

Assets are broadly defined as “items of value.” Technology assets make up the backbone of many successful organizations. However, some assets can contain threats; worse yet, they can make your data center, other assets, and entire IT infrastructure vulnerable to a wide range of exterior threats. The IT team needs to preserve the integrity of every asset in the organization. You can’t protect your organization and its assets if you don’t have a solid understanding of all the ways in which your data center and other assets may pose a threat. In this post, we will walk you through the wide variety of potential threats that may be hidden among your assets. Then, we’ll talk about how quality IT asset management that includes risk detection and license compliance can enhance your IT security, reduce your organization’s vulnerabilities, and provide real value to your business.

Technology Assets and Malicious Software

IT security is a moving target thanks to a variety of factors, some of which we’ll cover in this post. Chief among the constantly evolving factors that make complete security hard to achieve are the various threat vectors that are continually striving to breach your networks. Malicious software such as worms, trojan horses, and spyware can be accidentally downloaded on employee-owned devices or on your organization’s assets, and give hackers the opportunity to gain access to your data. Data breaches are a common occurrence these days, costing companies a tremendous amount of money ($3.86 million on average) and resources to remedy, not to mention the inherent public relations issues to address. Battling malicious software is a constant fight – something that requires real vigilance. In order to understand and combat the constant threat posed by malicious software, you must have an unencumbered, total view of all your assets. With a clear view of your assets, you are then in a position to identify and deal with the applications and systems that are vulnerable to the threats identified by your IT security tools.

License Compliance and Unauthorized Software

Another major issue that comes up with managing information security, assets, and your data center is the proliferation of outdated or unused versions of software. Failing to address outdated software and inconsistency in upgrading is not only compromising your ability to efficiently manage your organization’s consumption of space and energy, but it is also providing malicious software with potential points of entry into your systems. According to the Center for Internet Security, “attackers continuously scan target organizations looking for vulnerable versions of software that can be remotely exploited.” These data harvesters can exploit outdated programs through distributed web pages, media files, or other types of content that may be distributed via third-party sites that users trust. Once this content has been downloaded or viewed with a vulnerable browser, it can be easy for a backdoor program or other downloaded string of code to compromise a machine’s security and to gain access to your network and database. Keeping your software licensing and entire technology landscape up-to-date and protected from security vulnerabilities requires license compliance, as does keeping the fines, fees, and audits associated with unlicensed software. You should also be diligent when it comes to removing outdated software and unauthorized clones of software, while further keeping a lookout for rogue software in your systems. Every time a user downloads an unauthorized application, your IT security is potentially at risk.

IT Security Considerations for Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)

Bring your own device (BYOD) has been an evolving trend and has raised a variety of potential security risks for some time now. It can be hard to estimate the threat level posed by every cell phone and every other mobile security device that comes into contact with your network. This can also be true for anyone who takes home company hardware or uses company databases and other IT infrastructure on their own device. The consumerization of technology and BYOD have brought a great many benefits with them, but keeping an eye on these potential threats is growing increasingly more important. Companies can secure data using mobile device management solutions that allow IT teams to secure their data while leaving users and employees in control of their devices.

More Assets Means More Potential for IT Security Threats

Threat detection and reduction is a necessary part of managing information security, assets, and overall organizational security. With the right tools and systems in place, keeping an eye on the threats posed by BYOD and other trends, issues with outdated or rogue software, and even malicious software attacks can be a simple, even if constantly shifting target. Regardless, it is an essential aspect of modern IT security.
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Tim Lawes
Tim Lawes serves as Manager of Solutions Engineering, ITSM at SolarWinds. ITIL 4 certified, he brings 10+ years of training and consulting experience in the…
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