What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You – Secure Your Shop and Meet Compliance with Asset Management

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IT infrastructure tends to be highly complex, with widely dispersed endpoints and networks that often resembles a plate of spaghetti, albeit with a bit more organization. IT pros and MSPs have the heavy responsibility of managing all this.

As if the IT environment isn’t complex enough, more organizations fall under regulatory and compliance rules. With the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) set to arrive this spring in Europe, millions of organizations who never had to follow compliance rules soon will.

Part of compliance is knowing what you have and actively protecting your infrastructure. Manually discovering and defining all your IT assets is hugely time consuming, and that inventory is out of date as soon as one new thing is added. The answer is to automate this discovery, and have that process be repeatable so you always have a current view.

With this in hand, IT or service providers know all the items they are responsible for, and can control them directly.

A proper solution does this asset discovery for you, and does a deep enough dive that you know all you need to about your assets. Even better, a proper solution uses automation to do the work for you. And it further does this discovery continually, updates the inventory database when new devices and apps emerge, and when changes such as updates or patches are made to endpoints.

Achieve Compliance through Asset Management

Many organizations, such as those involved in health care, finance, any place that works with credit cards, and soon those doing business in the EU, must abide by compliance regulations – and here security is of paramount importance. Not only do you have to be secure, you need to prove it as well. Inventory and Asset Management is great help. Here you can show that you are managing the security of all your devices, demonstrate you have secure and up to date operating systems, and that all these machines and properly patched. If auditors come knocking, simply print out a report to that effect.

Getting to Know Your Assets – Completely

Today’s IT departments are knowledgeable about security software such as antivirus/anti-malware. And many are adept at patching. But unless all your devices have malware protection installed and regularly updated, and unless all your devices are regularly patched, you fail the security test.

With an inventory and asset management solution, you get to keep all your organization’s devices up to date and safe. Part of this is knowing when machines, such as obsolete unsupported Windows XP machines, need to be replaced before they cause a problem.

Having a deep knowledge of your IT assets means you understand all that you have to protect, where these devices are, and how they are configured.

Traverse Brings All Network Assets to Light

Traverse by Kaseya is a network monitoring and management tool that is a perfect adjunct to the VSA by Kaseya RMM, which excels at endpoint discovery. With Traverse automated discovery and mapping, you can discover network connections, controllers, VLANs, disks, SAN and NAS devices, file systems, fiber channel switches, printers, and more.

It is one thing to discover the network asset, but IT needs deeper insight. Fortunately, Traverse also understands the fundamental attributes of each asset, including its capabilities, capacity, size, and other characteristics. It also has insight into the devices’ applications, such as active directory, DNS, databases, radius, application servers and mail.

All this information forms a complete and hierarchical topological map of the network and contained devices. This often includes your routers and switches, legacy bridges and hubs, and WAN connections such as ATM and frame relay gear. The map also defines the relationships and dependencies between all these items, and links these to the services they support.

Using the Traverse library, one can get detailed information about mapped devices, and metrics on how they should be operating.

While gathering all this data and keeping it up to date sounds like a lot of work, Traverse makes it a breeze. In fact, the network maps are based on auto-discovery and as such, continually auto-generate.

The VSA Approach

Kaseya VSA allows IT to conduct inventory and asset management and take actions on devices that are part of the inventory database. Automatic recurring network discovery and system audits keep the inventory up-to-date and accurate at all times. Using only a Web browser, you can quickly access the computer inventory information needed to see and manage the network efficiently from anywhere at any time.

VSA’s Network Audit & Inventory gives you the ability to meet these goals by grabbing every piece of useful data from your managed machines and offering you the visibility you need through comprehensive inventories.

With it, you can:

  •         Identify all installed software and application EXEs across all managed machines
  •         Identify the different versions and licenses of software deployed across your network
  •         Identify user-defined shares across all managed machines
  •         Close data security holes and ensure compliance
  •         Examine hardware policy issues
  •         Inventory computers without interrupting the user
  •         Pinpoint failures by manufacturer and model

You can also…

  •         Get a consolidated view of computer hardware profiles and installed software across your network
  •         Reconcile deployed software licenses with purchased licenses
  •         Know what versions of required software are installed across your entire network
  •         Provide a detailed list of hardware assets and installed software including those for compliance audits
  •         Know what software is installed on remote out-of-band systems

Learn more about network audits here, and audits and inventories here.


Posted by Doug Barney
Doug Barney was the founding editor of Redmond Magazine, Redmond Channel Partner, Redmond Developer News and Virtualization Review. Doug also served as Executive Editor of Network World, Editor in Chief of AmigaWorld, and Editor in Chief of Network Computing.
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