At the close of 2018, Dr. Barbara Rembiesa, president and CEO of the International Association of IT Asset Managers (IAITAM), made a prediction for the year ahead: IT asset managers would play a central role. In fact, 2019 would be a “real breakthrough year for the profession,” she said. Her theory was based on the knowledge that data leaks and hacking incidents reached record highs in 2018. “IT asset managers are called upon year after year to do more to help,” Rembiesa said, and 2019 would be no exception.
Interestingly, the top concerns for IT departments in the coming year are directly related to IT asset management. Those concerns include “ghost contracts,” tighter demands for identifying and reporting data leaks, and the need to coordinate with IT service management for better corporate harmony.
Let’s delve into each of those three concerns and see what they mean for IT asset managers:
IT Asset Management Will Deal with “Ghost Contracts”
First, what are ghost contracts? According to Rembiesa, a ghost contract is an “unsigned and non-negotiated agreement that is generated [organically] through multiple purchases or use agreements.” These contracts govern “what you do, how much you pay, how you pay, what can be changed,” and can be altered at any time, affecting your business for many years to come.
Contract management will become a new emphasis in 2019, Rembiesa says. “IT asset managers will need to either strengthen their relationship with their legal and contract departments or become adept contract managers themselves. This will be a new requirement for managing assets in the future and IT asset managers will be called upon to handle this change.”
For example, Logic Force saves 3-4 hours a week with asset tracking software so that in 2019, the company could potentially examine whether there are any ghost contracts it needs to be aware of and negotiate.
IT Will Have to Ensure Cybersecurity Gets Tighter
Over the course of 2018, we saw major hacks that affected such giants as Marriott, Orbitz, Quora, Facebook, Google+, and a slew of other companies, as well as NASA.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) released in April 2018 version 1.1 of its Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity, which includes updates on authentication and identity, self-assessing cybersecurity risk, managing cybersecurity within the supply chain, and vulnerability disclosure. IT asset managers will need to be on top of protecting digital assets and keeping accurate records so they can report losses immediately.
What Is Cybersecurity?
Cybersecurity is comprised of all the measures you take to protect your company’s digital assets. On a daily basis, government and business organizations, as well as individuals, face digital threats that may never become a reality thanks to the gatekeeping function of cybersecurity. There are three primary types of hackers:
- The white hat hacker, or legal hacker who breaks into protected systems at the blessing of the companies who own those systems, in order to determine their vulnerabilities. The idea is to catch the weak spots before bona fide hackers do.
- The black hat hacker breaks into computer networks illegally, stealing, changing or destroying data and/or installing malware.
- Grey hat hackers, like white hat hackers, break into protected systems to determine vulnerabilities, which they then report to the affected companies. However, nobody gave them permission to do so in the first place. After exposing the problem, grey hat hackers offer to fix it … for a fee.
Threats to Cybersecurity in 2019
Among the top anticipated threats to cybersecurity in 2019 are cryptojacking, or the practice of illegally mining cryptocurrencies; phishing, the practice of deceiving victims into providing sensitive information; ransomware, a type of software designed to block access to a computer system until a sum of money, or ransom, is paid; and malware, or software that compromises a system by performing an unauthorized function.
Asset Managers Will Need to Coordinate with IT Service Management
Greater efficiency and transparency result when asset managers work more closely with IT service management – which, in turn, helps fight data breaches. “The speed in which an organization can report a data breach is only as fast as their ability to locate the data and offending assets,” Rembiesa says.
Asset managers and service managers can stay on the same page with IT asset management software, and service management and asset management can use barcode tracking to access information on machines at any time, instantly.
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