used with permission from Microsoft Secure
by Patama Chantaruck
By 2021, worldwide cybercrime damage is expected to reach $6 trillion—double what it cost businesses in 2015. Unapproved apps, unmanaged devices, poor password protection, and other security issues are leaving far too many organizations vulnerable to attack. And as organizations embrace digital transformation, it becomes increasingly urgent for them to increase control over their IT infrastructures and reduce security risks.
The question is: where to start?
Driving greater security through software asset management
Software asset management (SAM) is a set of proven IT practices that unites people, processes, and technology to control and optimize the use of software across an organization. SAM is designed to help you control costs, manage business and legal risks, optimize licensing investments, and align IT investments with business needs.
Effective SAM can identify discrepancies between software licenses owned and deployed, thus providing insights into software usage. These insights are then used to devise upgrade plans for each software release that will optimize license use, ensure worthwhile software investments, save money, reduce security risks associated with software piracy, and promote good corporate governance, including management effectiveness and transparency.
Introducing the Microsoft SAM cybersecurity engagement
At Microsoft, we take SAM a step further with our cybersecurity engagement. This comprehensive analysis of your cybersecurity infrastructure—including your current software deployment, usage, and licensing data—helps to ensure that you have the right processes in place to minimize cyber-risk. Through this engagement we also provide prescriptive cybersecurity guidance and best practices, freeing your organization to focus on innovation instead of protection.
A Microsoft SAM cybersecurity engagement will help you:
- Minimize data loss, fraud, and employee downtime
- Save money combatting cyberattacks and increasing efficiencies
- Securely manage software assets and promote reliable cybersecurity practices
- Build a resilient IT infrastructure that can quickly respond to threats
- Ensure that you have a secure and effective defense against attacks
What IDC has to say about SAM
IDC has identified SAM as a key component to securing infrastructure and battling cyberattacks and predicts that an increasing number of organizations will rely on SAM practices to reduce risks. Below is a direct quote from The Business Value of Software Asset Management:
“Cyberattacks often take advantage of the high vulnerability of end-of-life (EOL) IT systems and/or software that have ceased to receive product updates and security patches from vendor sources. Understanding risk impact is challenging when there is limited or no understanding of where the assets reside and precisely how the assets support the business. To that end, SAM initiatives enable organizations to quickly discover how many devices and applications are in the environment, along with their location and their warranty status, which can significantly reduce unnecessary cost, waste, and cybersecurity risks. Establishing a comprehensive asset management program provides a common source of record, which enables IT to carry out more timely security patches and identify security threats sooner as well as better respond to software audits. Therefore, asset management should be viewed holistically as an essential component of an effective IT infrastructure, service, and cybersecurity management program.”
How SAM helped a sugar manufacturer reduce security risks
Here is one example of how Microsoft SAM for cybersecurity is helping customers around the world.
Ranking as the fourth largest sugar manufacturer in the world, Mitr Phol Group wanted to achieve effective SAM and reduce security risks. They moved away from decentralized IT systems to a more consolidated structure, centralizing the organization’s software deployments and management. To further increase the value of their established SAM processes, they became the first company in Thailand to conduct SAM for cybersecurity. As a result, they were able to identify and remediate system vulnerabilities and mitigate security risks and threat impacts while protecting their sensitive data.
SAM should be a key part of your security strategy. And Microsoft can help. To learn more, visit www.microsoft.com/sam to hear how other customers are benefiting.