Knowing exactly what’s going on with all the systems in your fleet gives you peace of mind. But if you can’t identify unpatched systems, find malicious browser extensions, or determine which systems have full-disk encryption (FDE) enabled, regardless of OS, then peace of mind may be hard to come by. The ability to rapidly gain visibility into system data represents the first step to how system data can improve IT security.
Let’s take a look at how some organizations secure their fleets now and the ways they can go about improving their approach.
A False Sense of Security
Organizations that use continual antivirus (AV) programs and real-time threat scanning might think that their systems are safe from harm. But that’s not necessarily the case. Unapproved applications, old SSH keys, and zombie user accounts creep into IT environments over time. All of these loose ends can let bad actors slither into networks and cause damage. Knowing this information before it spirals into a problem helps IT organizations improve IT security now and prevent problems down the road.
What Else Should an IT Admin Know?
Aside from rogue applications, SSH keys, and user accounts, administrators need to know specific information about each machine — this means finding:
- Application versions and browser extensions each system utilizes.
- Unauthorized mounted volumes and USB drives on systems.
- Unencrypted drives.
- Unmanaged and unauthorized users and groups on systems.
- Unpatched operating systems.
These are just a few powerful examples, but there exist many others.
Data Is Just the Start
Finding these problems is one piece of the puzzle. Until you’re able to act on the challenges in your system fleet, the information you acquired can’t help you to improve IT security.
That’s why you need a multi-pronged approach. First, you need the ability to generate system data. Then, you have to have the means of remedying the challenges brought forth by that knowledge. That means cleaning up rogue accounts and eliminating shadow IT in addition to applying GPO-like policies to update OSes, block USB drives, deploy FDE, deprovision access to systems, (Read more…)