In today’s world, every organization relies heavily on technology. Everything connected to the internet is considered a cyber device, from mobile devices to computers, routers, switches, and modems. Considering these devices and creating a cyber asset inventory is crucial to improve cybersecurity and minimizing cyber liability insurance risks.
A cyber asset inventory lists all the devices connected to a network. This inventory is necessary because these devices can be a potential vector for hackers, ransomware, cyber threats, malicious software, and viruses. For example, suppose your organization has excellent cybersecurity protection on your computers and servers but neglects the cyber security of your thermostat. In that case, hackers can use that as a gateway to infect your entire network.
It’s easy to underestimate the risks associated with everyday devices. A smart TV, for instance, requires a connection to the internet for programming and streaming services. Any connection to the internet creates a vulnerability that hackers can exploit to access sensitive data. This is why every device that connects to your network should be included in the asset inventory.
Creating an asset inventory is easy.
Your IT team can conduct a network inventory to identify all devices connected to the system. However, some devices may not be immediately recognizable from their MAC or IP address. For such devices, you may have to do a process of elimination to identify them. Highlighting the devices you know and eliminating the ones you don’t can help identify any vulnerabilities and ensure that all devices are adequately protected.
Updating software on all devices in the inventory is equally important. Regular updates help to patch vulnerabilities and ensure that the latest software is being used, reducing the risk of attacks. Cyber liability insurance companies may require you to keep all your devices updated, so conducting an asset inventory and regular updates will improve your cybersecurity and reduce your insurance premiums.
In conclusion, an asset inventory is the foundation of any good cybersecurity strategy. It allows you to identify and protect all devices that can connect to your network, including those that might not immediately come to mind. Creating an inventory to ensure you have covered all devices and clearly understand your cybersecurity posture is crucial. This way, you can take appropriate measures to reduce the risks of cyber threats and minimize cyber liability insurance premiums.