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The Critical Importance of Up-to-Date Asset Inventory for Enhanced Security in OT Environments

Updated: Jan 26


By Gregory Dupuis, Global Head of Marketing and 

EU Sales Team Leader at Framatome Cybersecurity (IBCY)

January 11, 2024




In the ever-evolving world of cybersecurity, Chief Information Security Officers and Operational Technology cybersecurity specialists face unique challenges. Among these, maintaining an up-to-date asset inventory stands out as a fundamental pillar for ensuring a robust security posture. This article delves into why an accurate and current asset inventory is critical, particularly in industrial or critical environments, and how organizations can effectively overcome the associated challenges of managing it.

 

Managing an asset inventory in OT environments can be complex due to the diversity and constant evolution of assets. This task becomes even more challenging in industrial and critical sectors, with often siloed systems and a mix of old and new technologies. The first step involves acknowledging and addressing these unique challenges.

 

An effective approach to maintaining an up-to-date asset inventory involves consolidating existing data. This means leveraging pre-installed tools that gather data on both IT and OT assets. For instance, using industrial network probes for mapping can provide significant visibility. However, another layer of information can be obtained from more traditional tools such as antivirus software, Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) systems, firewalls, and network switches.

 

Merely gathering data is not enough; its contextualization is imperative. Without this, it’s impossible to add value in threat management. A good asset mapping should include not just a complete view but also a clear context, covering the location, functionality, and criticality of each asset.

 

The software used to maintain the asset mapping must be capable of interconnecting with various tools to extract and consolidate data. It’s also vital that it offers functionalities for classifying assets into different categories. This classification should align with the company’s risk management policy, allowing for a more precise and targeted risk analysis.

 

Maintaining an up-to-date asset inventory is fundamental to a strong cybersecurity posture, especially in OT environments. By addressing the unique challenges of these environments, consolidating and contextualizing data, and using appropriate tools for asset classification and analysis, organizations can greatly enhance their ability to manage risks and respond effectively to threats. Investing in these processes is not just a precautionary measure; it’s a strategic necessity to ensure operational continuity and protect critical infrastructure.


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