Rogue Device Detection in 5 Simple Steps

Brenda Gratas December 21, 2023
- 10 min read

Rogue devices are sneaky intruders that can threaten your network security. How would you feel if someone quietly crept up to your door night after night? Just as it would unsettle you in the real world, rogue devices do the same in the digital one.

The difference is that, in the digital space, an IT Asset Management (ITAM) strategy stands guard. The practice acts as a vigilant overseer of your digital neighborhood, ensuring that every device and software on your network is counted, monitored, and kept in line. And, when teamed up with InvGate Insight, this task becomes even easier, helping you keep a clear view of all your assets.

So, don't let these intruders threaten your digital peace. Learn how to proactively secure your network with rogue device detection.



What are rogue devices?

Rogue devices are unauthorized, unseen items that infiltrate an organization's IT infrastructure. These devices operate stealthily, bypassing registration and escaping the oversight of IT administrators and security teams. They are essentially the hardware aspect of shadow IT, representing the same concept but focusing on unauthorized hardware rather than software.

The best way to combat rogue devices is to implement a robust Hardware Asset Management (HAM) strategy. This approach is crucial in rogue device detection and removal as it ensures the maintenance of a comprehensive, well-regulated IT asset inventory that safeguards the organization's data security and network integrity.

Types of rogue devices

Each rogue device has its distinct entry point and modus operandi. Here's a breakdown of the most common types of rogue devices and where they typically originate:

  • BYOD (Bring-Your-Own-Device) - The widespread adoption of BYOD policies has opened a gateway for rogue hardware to infiltrate corporate networks. These unauthorized devices include personal smartphones, laptops, tablets, and other gadgets employees connect to the network without official approval. While BYOD can enhance workforce flexibility, it also exposes organizations to the risks associated with unmonitored, unsecured endpoints.

  • IoT devices - The proliferation of Internet of Things (IoT) devices has revolutionized several industries, but it has also introduced a new area of vulnerability. Rogue IoT devices, such as smart thermostats, surveillance cameras, and sensors, can connect to an organization's network undetected. 

  • Unauthorized access points - Employees looking to improve their connectivity may bring unauthorized Wi-Fi routers or access points onto the network. While well-intentioned, these rogue access points can provide an entry point for attackers to bypass corporate security measures.

  • Printers and peripherals - Seemingly innocuous devices such as printers, USB peripherals, or external storage devices can also be potential rogue devices. If not properly secured, they can be used for unauthorized data transfer or as a vector for malware.

7 risks of unauthorized assets in company networks

Rogue devices pose a significant security risk to organizations. The more assets are connected without your knowledge, the greater the potential threats. Here are the primary risks associated with these rogue devices:

  1. Cyber attack hub - Rogue devices provide attackers a way into a company's network, from which they can launch various damaging actions like data breaches and denial-of-service attacks.

  2. Data theft - These sneaky intruders can quietly steal sensitive data, including customer information, intellectual property, and financial records.

  3. Malware spread - Rogue devices act as couriers for malware, passing it around the network and infecting other devices.

  4. Network performance impact - Rogue devices can slow down a company's network by consuming bandwidth or causing congestion.

  5. Infrastructure vulnerability - Unauthorized hardware can compromise the integrity and stability of an organization's network infrastructure, making it prone to outages, disruptions, and service issues.

  6. Reputation damage - A data breach or cyberattack triggered by a rogue device can harm a company's reputation, causing customers to lose trust and resulting in financial losses.

  7. Compliance problems - Unauthorized assets can lead to violations of industry-specific regulations (e.g., GDPR, HIPAA). Organizations may face legal repercussions, fines, and damage to their reputation for failing to meet these standards.


Rogue device detection process and software with InvGate Insight

Protecting your network from unauthorized software and hardware is essential, and InvGate Insight is your trusted partner in this mission. 

Follow these five easy steps to learn how simple it can be to keep your whole IT environment protected, including rogue devices.


1. Create an IT asset inventory 

Building an inventory is a crucial foundation for effective Asset Management. Our step-by-step guide can help you achieve a unified IT asset inventory within 24 hours. By following the instructions, you'll ensure that all your network's software and hardware assets are accounted for, leaving nothing hidden from your view.

2. Track software

Once your asset inventory is in place, you can dig into the details of your software landscape. InvGate Insight’s software tracking feature allows you to search for specific software titles and their details across your network. There you can see all software installations across your various devices, providing a clear picture of what is in use.

3. Set up alert automation for unauthorized software

If you want to maintain control and security over your network, it's essential to be alerted when unauthorized software is installed. InvGate Insight allows you to set up alert automation with Asset Health Rules under Assets >> Automations. Configure the automation to send email notifications when specific software is detected on an asset. You can add multiple software titles to ensure you're notified of any unauthorized installations.

And with InvGate Insight you can’t take this a step further, by harnessing the power of filters and smart tags to automatically categorize machines based on factors like their software installations.

To establish a filter, navigate to Assets >> Filters. If you desire to create a dynamic tag for swift identification, head to the "Filters Applied" section and select "Quick Smart Tag." Designate a name for the tag, such as "Unapproved Software Installations," and pick a distinctive color for easy identification. Once set up, this dynamic tag will automatically categorize machines that meet the criteria you define. 

4. Detect unauthorized hardware

Now it's time to jump into rogue device detection. To address this concern effectively, it’s time to turn to InvGate Insight's Discovery feature. Begin by navigating to Settings >> Network. Here, you can initiate a scanning process using a server or endpoint. The objective is to identify any unauthorized devices that might be lurking within your network.

For a comprehensive and efficient detection process, collaboration with your network team is vital. Together, you can pinpoint the specific IP address ranges that need to be scanned. For larger networks, consider segmenting scans to avoid overwhelming your network.

5. Manage discovered assets

Finally, assets discovered during the scanning process can be found in the "Assets" tab, specifically under the Discovery option. You can convert these discovered devices into tracked assets for further management or simply view their details. Populate asset information as necessary to ensure that your records are up to date.

7 best practices to prevent rogue assets

How can you effectively secure your network and protect your data? With these eight essential best practices, you'll not only strengthen your network defenses but also ensure that your organization's digital assets are protected from unwanted intruders.

1. Regularly update your asset inventory

The IT asset inventory must be regularly updated to ensure you always know what's in your digital ecosystem, helping identify unauthorized devices.

2. Implement strong access control

Implementing strong access control involves security measures like robust passwords, secure logins, and authentication methods to ensure that only authorized personnel can access your network. 

3. Conduct regular audits

Regular audits involve systematically examining your network to ensure everything is functioning correctly and securely. They help identify and address issues before they become major problems and assist in detecting unauthorized devices or unusual activity.

4. Educate about security

Educating about security entails ensuring your team understands the rules and practices related to network security. This includes educating them about the risks of unauthorized devices and the importance of adhering to security policies. When everyone is aware of how to protect the network, it becomes a safer digital environment.

5. Use firewalls

Firewalls determine which devices can access your network and which ones should be kept out. They act as gatekeepers, permitting only authorized devices to enter and preventing unauthorized ones from infiltrating your network.

6. Segment the network

Segmenting the network means dividing it into smaller, isolated sections to control access and movement within the network. Each segment serves a specific purpose and is kept separate from others, limiting the ability of unauthorized devices to roam freely and access sensitive areas.

7. Apply patches and updates

Applying patches and updates is the process of fixing vulnerabilities or "holes" that may appear in your network over time. These updates serve as repairs to maintain network security. They address weaknesses and ensure that unauthorized devices cannot exploit these vulnerabilities to gain access. Regular updates are a vital part of network maintenance to keep the environment secure.

In sum

The constant threat of rogue devices infiltrating your network requires a proactive approach in order to be addressed effectively. By developing a sound IT Asset Management strategy and keeping a close eye on your devices, you can strengthen your IT infrastructure and outpace these digital intruders.

Streamlining rogue device detection, along with other types of threats, is made effortless with InvGate Insight. Ask for your 30-day free trial and start harnessing its power today!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is rogue system detection?

Rogue system detection is the process of identifying unauthorized devices that are connected to a network, posing a security threat. 

How to detect unauthorized devices on a network?

To detect unauthorized devices on a network, you can use software like InvGate Insight. These tools identify assets that do not belong to the authorized inventory.

How can rogue devices be detected and prevented?

Rogue devices can be detected and prevented by implementing strong access control, conducting regular audits, educating users about security, segmenting the network, and applying patches and updates regularly.

How do I find a rogue device?

To find a rogue device, you can use network scanning and detection tools like InvGate Insight, which helps identify unauthorized devices on your network during a scanning process.


Read other articles like this : ITAM, risk management, vulnerabilities, Cybersecurity

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