Cyber Security News

Maximising Cybersecurity: The Importance of an IT Asset Register

A question.

How many devices do you have in your digital ecosystem?

Think about laptops, PCs, tablets, smartphones, printers, servers, routers, access points, CCTV cameras… the list goes on.

Then add to that the pieces of software that accompany all of those together with your daily operations.

And now add the important and intangible assets such as data and intellectual property e.g. your proprietary chemical recipe or design algorithm.

It’s surprising how quickly the number of valuable assets escalates, isn’t it?

And keeping all of those assets secure, updated and compliant can seem like a mammoth task (because it is).

So how can you sleep peacefully at night knowing that you’ve got it all under control?

The way we recommend is by tracking your company assets. And not only does this aid productivity, but it also forms an important aspect of cybersecurity for your business.

If you’re not convinced, here are a few more reasons why we believe it's important to track your company assets.

Note: It often helps for you to really think about examples in your business as you go through these:

Asset Inventory Management:

    An up-to-date asset inventory helps you identify and track all of the assets in your organisation, including hardware, software, and data. This can be especially important for tracking assets that contain sensitive or confidential information, such as servers and laptops.

    By keeping an accurate inventory, you can ensure that all of your assets are accounted for and that they are being used and maintained appropriately.

    Security and Compliance:

      Tracking your assets can also help you ensure that your business is compliant with relevant laws and regulations.

      For example, as a professional service provider, you handle sensitive customer data and are required to follow certain cybersecurity standards (data security) and guidelines.

      By keeping track of your assets, you can ensure that you are meeting these requirements and protecting your customers' data.

      Risk Management:

        By tracking your assets, you can better understand the potential risks to your business and take steps to mitigate them.

        For example, if you know that you have an outdated router, server or access point that is vulnerable to attack, you can prioritise updating it to reduce the risk of a breach.

        Have we got your attention now?

        There are new examples every day around Australia. You’ve probably heard the stories of companies who got hacked because one of their photocopiers hadn’t been updated with the latest patch. Or the rogue ex-employee who hadn’t had their access revoked on the network.

        In our world of penetration testing (read: ethical hacking) for our clients, we find a huge range of vulnerabilities, many of which could be avoided if they had simply tracked their assets as we’re about to show you how to do.

        So how do you keep track of your company's assets?

        You create and maintain a cyber security asset register.

        In terms of cyber security, an asset register is an especially valuable tool because...

        It Helps You Identify Critical Assets:

          An asset register allows you to identify the assets that are most critical to your operations. These may include sensitive data, intellectual property, or systems that are essential to the business's daily functioning

          By understanding what assets are most critical, you can prioritise your efforts to protect them

          It Facilitates Risk Assessment:

            By identifying the assets that are most at risk from cyber threats, you can then assess the potential consequences of a cyber attack on those assets. This can help inform your risk management strategy and determine what steps need to be taken to protect your assets

            It Promotes Collaboration:

              An asset register is a shared document that can be accessed by multiple people within your organisation. This promotes collaboration and ensures that everyone is aware of and working towards protecting the identified assets

              It Helps You Track Progress:

                By regularly reviewing and updating the asset register, you (and your team) can track the progress you’ve made in protecting your assets and identify any new ones that may have arisen

                Let's consider an example of how your asset register can be used to reduce your cyber security risks:

                1. You create an asset register and identify your company's customer data as the most critical asset. This data includes sensitive information such as credit card numbers and Personally Identifiable Information (PII)
                2. You assess the potential consequences of a data breach, including the loss of customer trust and the potential for costly fines and legal fees
                3. Based on this assessment, you decide to implement stronger security measures, such as encryption and two-factor authentication (2FA), to protect customer data. You also educate your employees on how to recognise and prevent cyber threats
                4. By regularly reviewing and updating the asset register, you can track the progress you've made in protecting your customer data and identify any new risks that may have arisen

                This example spans almost all businesses and all industries - can you relate?

                In conclusion, an asset register can be an effective tool for reducing the risk of cyber security risks.

                By identifying and cataloguing critical assets, assessing the potential consequences of a cyber attack, and implementing appropriate measures to protect those assets, businesses can better safeguard themselves from cyber threats.

                By regularly reviewing and updating the asset register, businesses can track their progress and identify any new risks that may have arisen.

                By taking these steps, businesses can better protect the assets that are critical to their operations.

                Bonus: You can watch a tutorial on how to create your own cyber security asset register at the link below.


                For more cybersecurity tips and techniques for small to medium businesses, why not tune into the Cyber Heroes Podcast where we talk about how to strengthen your cyber posture, create a culture of cyber savviness, and learn from the many cybercrime lessons around the world every day?