What Are ‘Ghost Assets’ and Just How Terrifying Are They?
Recently, Barry in our obscure stats department dug up a real doozy on IT Asset Management:
According to research by Asset Management Resources, as many as 30% of fixed IT assets are ghost assets.
Ghost assets? Like Casper the Friendly Ghost? Or like Patrick Swayze in Ghost? Or perhaps it’s more of a Paranormal Activity type situation.
We, the Ivanti blog team, sought out our own experts for a little clarity on this spooky fact.
Our Ivanti ITAM product evangelists define a ghost asset as a piece of hardware that goes missing from your organization’s radar – never to be seen again. Our ITAM team points out that often times those devices are loaded with sensitive information and are still able to access company systems and applications.
A Few Haunting Hardware Asset Management Statistics
Just how scary are these ghost assets?
- According to DarkReading.com, 50% of ex-employees still have access to corporate applications.
- Businessnewsdaily.com reports that 60% percent of employees say they had confidential information stored on their laptops.
- And a 2017 survey published on sonian.com reveals 25% of organizations polled never require departing employees to sign a document indicating they have returned all corporate data assets.
Boo! The Terrifying Result of Ghost Assets
The loss of proprietary data can have huge consequences. In addition to lost revenue, organizations can face fines for not protecting the data of its employees or customers. Under GDPR, these fines can be as steep as 20 million Euros or 4% of annual global revenue.
Ghost assets also pose a huge risk for IT security teams, exposing organizations to the possibility of data breaches. Research on DarkReading.com shows that as many as 20% of businesses have experienced data breaches by former staff.
So how do you keep your assets from falling into the wrong hands without having to hire a team of ex-special forces to reclaim devices from your ex-employees?
Being an ITAM Ghostbuster Doesn’t Have to Be Hard
Many organizations do their best to track IT assets. We’ve seen a wide variety of methods such as spreadsheets, shared docs, proprietary software, etc. But manual tracking is exhaustive, sucks up time, and can’t be counted on for perfect accuracy.
On the other side of the spectrum, traditional IT asset management solutions can be just as time consuming - requiring intensive setup, long trainings, regular maintenance, and additional infrastructure. Small and budget-strapped teams have a hard time supporting these types of solutions.
A Ready-To-Go ITAM Solution, Not an Apparition
Ivanti has the answer for organizations of all sizes that want to start implementing IT asset management but don’t have time to waste before seeing results.
Ivanti Asset Manager Essentials is a pre-built, cloud-based ITAM solution that provides:
- Tracking for asset availability and performance
- Easy data retrieval with discovery import
- Instant visibility into costs and contracts
- Product catalog for an enhanced user experience
- Out-of-the-box reporting and dashboards
- Superior vendor management
- Faster delivery of new code features and updates in the cloud