The Importance of Scanning Sources in CAASM: Why Management Tools Aren’t Enough

The Importance of Scanning Sources in CAASM Why Management Tools Aren't Enough

According to a recent Trend Micro survey, 43% of global organizations believe the digital attack surface is “spiraling out of control.” Cyber Asset Attack Surface Management (CAASM) is a practice that has emerged over the past few years in response to cybercrime in the enterprise – a threat that’s increasing rapidly as the attack surface expands. 

In this article, we’ll explore the concept of CAASM and the critical role scanning sources such as Lansweeper play in identifying an organization’s cyber assets. We’ll also discuss the limitations of relying solely on asset management tools, and how combining them with scanning sources provides a comprehensive solution.

Why Is the Attack Surface Growing?

The attack surface – which consists of all points of entry that can serve as attack vectors for unauthorized users to gain access to a system for malicious reasons – has grown exponentially as organizations become more geographically dispersed, and as hybrid work models continue to be the norm. Employees working from home may use personal devices to connect to corporate networks. Teams purchase and use unsanctioned technology assets – shadow IT – bypassing IT in an effort to be more productive. 

What’s more, as the business becomes increasingly reliant on technology, IoT, operational technology and cloud assets are proliferating at an unprecedented rate. No wonder it’s such a challenge to track and maintain it all!

CAASM enables IT security teams to reduce risk with better visibility across all internal and external technology assets. To accomplish this goal, the practice of CAASM requires tools that gather and make available accurate IT Asset data, either by ingesting data manually or by actively scanning the network. Creating a complete and accurate inventory is the first step to securing the attack surface – you can’t protect what you don’t know you have. 

Meanwhile, cybercriminals aren’t slowing down. Social engineering scams and ransomware attacks are prevalent across every industry and market sector – in 2021, 93% of companies were vulnerable to an external attacker breaching their network, and just 45% have a well-defined way to assess their risk exposure. 

Manual methods of managing asset inventories are no longer viable – there are simply too many assets to track. And, while organizations often use asset management tools such as configuration management databases (CMDBs) and security information and event management (SIEM) solutions to track and manage their technology assets, these also fall short as the IT estate continues to expand. 

Your Asset Management System Isn’t Enough

While asset management tools help organizations track and manage IT assets, there are some limitations:

  • Limited data and visibility: Management tools are an important part of security management, but they may not always provide a complete view of the organization’s attack surface. They may only provide visibility into certain types of assets, instead of capturing everything – IT, IoT, OT, cloud and virtual assets. Many offer limited data for devices, as well, or miss devices that are connected to the network but not sanctioned by IT (shadow IT).
  • Time-consuming data entry: Many asset managment tools rely on accurate, manual data entry. However, data entry can be time-consuming and can lead to errors if not performed correctly.
  • Incomplete data: Asset management tools must have accurate, up-to-date data to be effective; however, incomplete data, such as missing software license information or outdated hardware specifications, can limit the tool’s usefulness.

With an incomplete view and limited visibility, organizations are left vulnerable to cyber attacks. To that end, it’s critical to augment your ITAM solution with a scanning source – a tool that automatically scans the network to detect and identify any and all connected technology assets – from physical IT assets to software assets, IoT, OT, virtual and cloud assets. 

Why Embed a Scanning Source? 

Network scanning sources help to provide a comprehensive inventory of all of your technology assets. They’re designed to collect and manage information about all types of technology assets to create a comprehensive inventory with detailed and granular IT asset data. This includes rogue devices that only briefly touch the network, as well as shadow IT and forgotten, idle devices. 

Scanning sources may use various methods to discover and identify assets, such as network scans, port scans and vulnerability scans. When used in conjunction with an asset management tool, scanning sources help to provide a complete view of the attack surface, an essential foundation for an effective cybersecurity strategy. 

Scan it All with a Lansweeper Integration

Lansweeper is a scanning source that can be used in conjunction with CAASM tools to identify any unmanaged or unknown assets that may exist on your clients’ network. It provides a risk-based view of the full IT estate, shining a light on unsupported software, out-of-date hardware and other potential vulnerabilities. 

Lansweeper automates the process of scanning clients’ network and creates an always-accurate and up-to-date asset inventory, complete with detailed information about every asset connected to their networks. In this way, you can ensure vulnerabilities are addressed, and that no security gaps exist that could open the door to a cyber attack.

Through a seamless integration with CAASM tools such as ArcusTeam’s DeviceTotal, a SaaS-based precognitive attack surface management solution, Lansweeper exposes this data, giving you the context necessary to make data-driven decisions about your clients’ IT infrastructure and combat risk. Lasnweeper also integrates seamlessly with other systems across your tech stack, as well, including CMDB, ITSM, SIEM and SOAR tools, eliminating data silos, lowering operational overhead and making complex investigations a breeze. 

Integrating Lansweeper causes minimal if any business disruption while providing enhanced asset visibility from day one. Contact us today to learn how we can help you embed ITAM with your security solution.