GRC Viewpoint

Incomplete Asset Inventory Is A Challenge for OT Vulnerability Management

The OT vulnerability challenge is comparatively an arduous task compared to a traditional IT environment. Besides, there are several challenges to tackle. Incomplete asset inventory is a common obstacle. Several operating enterprises have very minimal asset inventory data. Yet, in most cases, asset data is restricted to aging spreadsheets, and often the coverage is intermittent. 

When a new vulnerability is identified, asset inventory is often relied upon to obtain clarity on the availability of OT assets in scope for the newly discovered vulnerability. It is this inventory that gives clarity on how many vulnerabilities can be easily patched. 

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However, an incomplete asset inventory indicates the absence of a detailed profile of an asset. Therefore, incomplete data makes this task almost impossible, making OT vulnerability management a challenging and lengthy process. That’s why an asset inventory management solution is vital for successfully tackling vulnerabilities.

An ideal asset inventory should be beyond a mere list of assets. Such an asset inventory management approach would also involve detailed profile data per asset. The more information on each support, the more successful your vulnerability management approach would be. 

However, it is not easy to accumulate the data, as amassing vast amounts of information is the most critical challenge for an OT environment. 

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Network-based or passive listening tools rely upon by enterprises to eat such vast amounts of data. Passive devices can collect information, but they can primarily not provide the robust network needed to establish an ideal vulnerability management program.

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