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Six Ways to Gain Business Value with Real-Time IT Asset Management

Stacey King | July 10, 2019

In our previous blog post, we recapped the highlights from a recent Gartner report, Reducing Audit Costs and Risks with a Comprehensive IT Asset Management Strategy. In this blog post we’re exploring the role real-time asset management plays in driving service and cybersecurity innovation and business value.

It seems like only yesterday when real-time IT asset management was a sleepy category of IT asset inventory tracking and configuration management software, but now it’s dominating a lot of agendas in boardrooms and executive offices. Finance, operations, cybersecurity, support and compliance leaders are beginning to realize the role it can play in digital transformation initiatives, risk management, regulatory and software license compliance, and of course, security management and incident response. However, to exploit these opportunities and drive new business services, real-time asset management solutions require specific capabilities, which I’ll describe below.

Find every asset without requiring software agents

Historically, companies have tried to cull information from their collections of point-in-time discovery tools to create a respectable repository, but that can result in incomplete, inaccurate inventories. Why? Collecting and comparing multiple data sources is an extremely time-consuming and arduous manual process that’s prone to errors. And to make matters worse, the resulting point-in-time configuration management database (CMDB) becomes increasingly out of date by the second.

Proper asset management requires agentless discovery, intelligent classification and accurate posture assessment of virtual and physical devices, regardless of whether they are IT systems, operational technologies or Internet of Things (IoT) devices. The Forescout platform provides 100% discovery and classification of all IP-connected devices—regardless of location—without requiring agents or impacting network performance or business operations.

Update the CMDB, continuously monitor systems and share contextual data in real time

Asset information must be populated into a CMDB that can be leveraged across the organization. That’s why these next capabilities are crucial. For optimal results and efficiencies, an IT asset inventory requires accurate situational awareness. In other words, as the status, configurations, security posture and users of systems change, the CMDB must reflect those changes. This up-to-date information must be shared with a variety of services and tools for system patching and maintenance, help desk, security operations and incident response, network access control and more. True workflow orchestration of all of these steps and integration of these tools is where real automation and business value occur.

And that’s where the Forescout platform comes in, providing agentless visibility, continuous monitoring and automated orchestration with ServiceNow®solutions via eyeExtend for ServiceNow.

The Forescout platform automates asset data collection to improve efficiency, accuracy and situational awareness.

Six ways the Forescout platform delivers business value with real-time asset management

The Forescout platform provides real-time, accurate asset intelligence across device types, organizational units and functions to:

  1. Empower smarter decision-making. The Forescout platform facilitates accurate asset intelligence that is the basis for strategic decision-making and policy creation as companies plan and implement digital transformation initiatives. Also, the comprehensive visibility into networked assets that Forescout provides leads to enhanced asset lifecycle management while also helping executives to better understand business risks and make more informed decisions.
  2. Avoid manual, error-prone and expensive inventory processes. The Forescout platform can streamline and automate an accurate CMDB and eliminate infrequent, time-consuming manual inventorying—the cost of which can easily exceed $1 million. 1
  3. Cut costs. By accurately tracking installed software, the Forescout platform helps organizations comply with licensing agreements, reduce penalties and reassign unused software licenses. In addition, it can reduce operational costs and help avoid noncompliance and associated fines by improving the security posture of devices by automatically enforcing configuration and endpoint security tool requirements.
  4. Boost operational efficiency. In addition to feeding the CMDB with real-time asset intelligence, the Forescout integration with ServiceNow also enables organizations to automatically create an IT or security incident record, automate remediation/workflows and create a complete audit trail that is synchronized with the asset record.
  5. Help ensure and demonstrate compliance. Real-time contextual updates to the asset database/CMDB ensure a single source of truth for accurate asset intelligence, governance, security operations management and reporting. Policy-driven remediation also helps you demonstrate compliance.
  6. Accelerate incident response. The Forescout platform provides IT service and security operations teams with rich device context to prioritize and remediate issues, as well as an automated means to restrict or block noncompliant or compromised devices from accessing the network. Policy-driven remediation actions can be triggered automatically by either Forescout or ServiceNow.

These are not just theoretical benefits: they are achievable for any organization willing to embrace a real-time access management approach.

Reduce audit costs and risks with IT Asset Management

In our next blog post, we’ll look at the real-world example of how the state of Utah is achieving many of these benefits by leveraging the Forescout platform’s real-time device intelligence and feeding this insight into ServiceNow to orchestrate asset management workflows. In the meantime, here are additional resources that may interest you:

Click here to watch Sean Convery, VP and GM, Security & Risk Business Unit of ServiceNow discuss how to contextually know and manage connected assets in real time to detect and reduce risk with the ServiceNow-Forescout solution.    

Click here to watch the webcast: Fostering Security Innovation with Optimized Asset Insight & Incident Response, presented by Brennen Reynolds, Forescout; Piero DePaoli, ServiceNow; and Bob Bragdon, CSO Magazine.

Click here to learn more about the Forescout and ServiceNow integration and partnership.

1 https://statetechmagazine.com/article/2019/02/how-utah-gained-visibility-devices-its-networks