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Three Preventative Strategies to Help Mitigate Asset Risk in Your Agency

For many federal employees, the workplace has shifted from a traditional office setting to being at home—in a kitchen, bedroom, basement, or any spare desk in the house. With a physical workplace transformation of this nature, cybersecurity concerns come to the forefront. While most agencies have been diligent in addressing these concerns, how has your agency planned to secure its physical inventory? Despite not having eyes on these physical assets, the IT team and service desk are still required to have a level of visibility and access to agency-owned property to securely support employees. To maximize visibility and protect your organizational ecosystem, it’s critical for IT teams to define an asset management strategy. There are several best-practice concepts capable of helping with successful asset management and mitigating asset risk, including the following:
  1. Define your asset management strategy and select the right asset discovery approach for your agency
  2. Leverage robust IT asset management (ITAM) data to implement and refine preventative maintenance tasks capable of reducing spend, minimizing downtime, and closing security vulnerabilities
  3. Tap into automation and automate recurring risk assessments, so IT can implement more preventative maintenance measures, mitigating disruptions or degraded services for employees

Defining Your Asset Discovery Approach

Every agency has unique mission requirements. Consider each of the different asset discovery approaches you can take relative to what will best fit your agency. For example:
  • Agent-based discovery … can help IT automatically collect data points around installed software, hardware ownership, service history, and more
  • Agentless discovery extends asset tracking capabilities, empowering IT to scan the agency’s network to compile a full registry of their IP-connected devices
Defining how you track your inventory and configuration items addresses key questions, which can impact employee productivity and agency initiatives.

Leveraging ITAM for Preventative Maintenance

Connecting asset management data into your ITSM platform enables IT to proactively plan and perform ongoing maintenance, creating a way to view previous services, historical incidents, or trending problems associated with those devices. This visibility enables IT to run reports on versioning and utilization, which can fuel more proactive operations. Extracting this information can show whether unauthorized software is installed—potentially compromising the security of agency hardware—or if there’s an overage of unlicensed software being used, which could result in increased expenses or worse: a security risk.

Using Automation to Mitigate Risk

With access to a device’s incident history paired with additional information, such as an expiring warranty or the absence of antivirus software, teams can more effectively identify and manage potential security threats. Automating how these risks are detected and escalated empowers IT to implement more preventative maintenance measures, mitigating disruptions or degraded services for employees. By adopting and implementing these preventative strategies, agencies can feel more confident in employees working from anywhere.
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Brandon Shopp
Brandon Shopp is the vice president of product strategy for security, compliance, and tools at SolarWinds. He served as our director of product management since…
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