Showing items from Posts

A Sysadmin's Perspective of IT Asset Management

My Motivation for IT Asset Management We’ve probably all heard the story about a group of blind men who try to describe an elephant. Each of them feels only one part of the elephant and so gets a very different idea of the animal to the others. As none of them are stomped to death, we can safely assume that the elephant is tame. This probably feels very distant from IT asset management, but it happens to be relevant. If you decide to skip managing your assets, you will eventually share the experience of the blind guy who couldn’t tell what elephants are like, but knows from personal experience what they leave behind. In reality, the exact number of devices in your environment is probably trivial to come up with. At least you can come up with a rough estimate and get more exact results after a while. If you think about it, addresses, locations and other characteristics seem essential in describing what you have.

Continue Reading

Practical Methods for Assessing Your External Attack Surface

Attackers Window Shop for Your Network Attack Surface The previous post Public Exposure by Lari Huttunen made good points on reducing your external attack surface. This subject has become more important than ever as the interest of attackers on network-based attacks has grown in recent years. A host of vulnerabilities in internet-facing services have been successfully used by attackers to gain an initial foothold at their victims. The trend has not gone unnoticed. As an example, the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has issued multiple directives to mitigate network-based risks in the last three years. Their rationale: the average time between discovery and exploitation of a vulnerability is decreasing as today’s adversaries are more skilled, persistent, and able to exploit known vulnerabilities. At the same time, many if not most organisations struggle with asset and vulnerability management. They simply are not aware of all the systems they own and cannot keep up with the pace that patches are published.

Continue Reading

Public Exposure

What can the Arctic teach us about external attack surface management? Spending time outside in -26 degrees centigrade is an experience, which makes you observant of exposure to the elements. Even more so, when you are standing on the bank of the Kemijoki river with your camera gear in tow and: the moisture rising from the flowing water is freezing over your face, gear and clothes the bitter cold is biting into your core despite your gazillion layers of clothing. I remember struggling to steady my hands in order to secure my camera on a tripod and trying to find the mental fortitude to take my time in framing the exposures properly. Through my pictures of the scene, I wanted to convey the harsh reality of the wintry landscape in front of me. Looking at the Jätkänkynttilä bridge, I could not but marvel the solidity of its structure, which since 1989 has stood the test of time and harsh elements in this city situated at the Arctic Circle in Finland.

Continue Reading