Why Cybersecurity Asset Management Matters and How to Prioritize It

Troy Fine

by Troy Fine

November 22, 2022
Cybersecurity Asset Management
During a time of ever-evolving threats, how can your organization protect itself? Discover the role that cybersecurity asset management plays.

Global cybercrime costs are expected to grow by 15% per year, reaching $10.5 trillion annually by 2025. During a time of ever-evolving cybersecurity threats, how can your organization protect itself? In this blog post, we’ll examine why asset management matters and how you can prioritize your cybersecurity assets based on risk. You’ll find answers to some of the most pressing questions about this topic, including:

  • Why Does Cybersecurity Asset Management Matter?

  • What Are the Risks of Poor Asset Management?

  • Who Should Be Part of Your Cybersecurity Asset Management Process?

  • What Goes Into Asset Inventory, Mapping, and Prioritization?

  • How Do You Prioritize Cybersecurity Assets and Take Action?

Why Does Cybersecurity Asset Management Matter?

Cybersecurity initiatives are at the top of the priority list for many organizations, but some of them are missing a critical step. You must have visibility into your cybersecurity assets before you can effectively protect them. In turn, cybersecurity asset management identifies, evaluates, and prioritizes your most important assets. It helps you understand what assets are valuable to your organization’s cybersecurity efforts and how much risk they each face. A robust cybersecurity asset management program can help you:

  • Prioritize your cybersecurity budget by focusing on the most important areas to invest in based on risk assessment results.

  • Fill critical cybersecurity gaps by allocating resources toward protecting the highest-value systems or processes.

  • Take a proactive approach to cybersecurity management, so you can spot potential problems and stop them in their tracks.

To put it simply, cybersecurity asset management is one thing your organization can take control of to protect itself from cyberattacks. It’s part of what will make your cybersecurity strategy more robust.

What Are the Risks of Poor Asset Management?

Organizations already have a lot of cybersecurity threats to contend with, and this has a significant impact on the bottom line. From 2020 to 2021, the average data breach cost rose almost 10%, reaching over 4 million dollars. That’s the highest growth rate seen in close to a decade, according to IBM’s Cost of a Data Breach 2021 report. Poor asset management presents an opportunity for anyone to find and leverage your organization's vulnerabilities. This creates the potential for more malicious cyber attacks, information loss, and business disruption. However, with the right people and processes in place, you can avoid many of these consequences. 

Who Should Be Part of Your Cybersecurity Asset Management Process?

If you're in a position to make decisions on the cybersecurity asset management process, you'll want to consult with several key players. These include:

  • Chief information security officer (CISO)

  • Information technology (IT) staff

  • Risk management team or department

  • Security operations

  • Compliance officers

Everyone should be on the same page throughout this process. Keeping all parties informed is the best way to avoid risk.

What Goes Into Asset Inventory, Mapping, and Prioritization?

To protect cybersecurity assets, you must first get a thorough understanding of what you have.

The first step is creating an inventory and mapping all the systems that are essential to your organization's operations. Once you compile that, it should be reviewed and prioritized based on risk assessment. This will ensure that you're taking care of the most pressing security concerns first while still keeping an eye on lower-priority items.

How Do You Prioritize Cybersecurity Assets and Take Action?

Once you've identified your assets, it's time to prioritize them. Here’s one of the most common ways organizations can effectively prioritize their cybersecurity assets based on risk:

Determine Impact and Likelihood

List all the potential risks to your cybersecurity assets. Your scale may range from minimal impact to significant impact. Then, think about the likelihood of an issue with that asset occurring. At this point, you’ll have all the information you need to put together a risk matrix.

Complete a Risk Matrix

Putting together a risk matrix will help you take the information you gather and make it actionable.

The formula for a matrix of this nature is cybersecurity risk = likelihood x severity.

The x-axis of your risk matrix should contain the likelihood of the risk while the y-axis will indicate the impact. The risks with the highest likelihood and biggest impact are your top priorities to address. 

Resolve Cybersecurity Asset Concerns

Cybersecurity assessment management and key priorities will look different for every organization, but there are a few common threads most organizations will deal with. For example, you may need to come up with a plan to manage vulnerabilities to certain risks or come up with an incident response plan for specific types of attacks that your industry is a target for. The key thing to remember is that true cybersecurity asset management goes beyond having intelligence about what you’re facing. Knowledge may be power, but what you choose to do with that knowledge is what makes the difference.

Bottom Line: Taking Control of Cybersecurity Asset Management

Cybersecurity asset management can be a complex process, but it’s critical to keep your organization running smoothly. To leverage automated and streamlined workflows, head to this page and schedule a demo with Drata. You’ll discover the ways we empower businesses to improve their security and compliance programs and help keep information safe.

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Troy Fine
Troy Fine
Senior Manager Cybersecurity Risk Management and Compliance