McAfee Focus 2012: One fifth of corporate network devices unknown

At least 20% of the devices on corporate networks are not known to the organisation, says security company McAfee

At least 20% of the devices on corporate networks are not known to the organisation, says security firm McAfee.

“This is staggering in the light of predictions that, by 2020, there will be more than 50 billion connected devices,” said Ken Levine, senior vice-president and general manager of management systems at McAfee.

This proliferation of connected devices will make it ever more challenging for IT to detect and assess these devices as they connect to corporate networks.

To help eliminate that 20% blind spot, he said McAfee had added an asset-management capability to its Vulnerability Manager product.

The development is part of McAfee’s commitment to providing security intelligence through deep asset visibility with context and continuous monitoring.

“This enhancement is aimed at enabling organisations to take a priority-based approach to risk management, and there is no more guessing,” said Levine.

By adding asset management capability, he said organisations come closer to real-time situational awareness of network status.

Read more about vulnerability management

  • Best of Vulnerability Management 2012
  • Five tips to improve a threat and vulnerability management program

The technology works passively in the background, enabling organisations to monitor their networks all day and see all the devices on the network.

“This eliminates the dark spaces between audits, effectively reducing the risks,” Levine said.

Any new or unknown device that connects to a network is automatically passed to the Vulnerability Manager and ePolicy Orchestrator, to pass an agent to the device and bring it under management.

“The new asset manager helps IT answer important question like: What is connected to the network? Who is on the network? Do they pose a risk?” said Levine.

The asset manager, which does not impact network performance by working on mirrored data, is to be available by the end of October.

“Most organisations don’t know what is out there, what is theirs and what is not theirs. This enhancement to Vulnerability Manager will help close that gap,” said Levine.

Tight integration provides asset discovery and connectivity information to help eliminate vulnerability management gaps and identify policy violations to improve overall security, said Levine.

Read more on Privacy and data protection