Why Does Data Privacy Matter to IT Asset Management?

With regulations like GDPR and CCPA in place, your company can’t afford any missteps when it comes to managing sensitive. See why data privacy matters more than ever to your IT Asset Management (ITAM) effort.

The world is becoming a smaller and smaller place, and that means data privacy has never matter more to your business. Regulations like the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) have fundamentally changed how companies protect the privacy of their data – because costly penalties can (and do) result for anyone that fails to comply with its rules.

Trust us, you can’t afford to mishandle IT assets or the valuable data they store. Data breaches have become a daily headline. And the risk of inadequate data privacy is probably making your device management environment even more confusing that it has been historically.

Unlike Europe, there’s no overriding national data privacy law that everyone can point to and follow. Meaning you need to pay attention to a variety of industry regulations such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the Federal Trade Commission Act, etc. Not to mention any relevant laws passed by a city or state, too.

With all of the complexity, data privacy compliance has become an issue that’s bigger than your legal department. IT Asset Management (ITAM) has a crucial role to play where your company and customer data is concerned. In many cases, ITAM can be the key to ensuring personally identifiable information is handled properly, securely, and in a manner that minimizes enterprise risk.

How ITAM Helps Your Data Privacy Compliance Efforts

Given the volume and widespread nature of modern enterprise breach attempts, data privacy has understandably become a growing concern for many organizations. And – while how you access and protect your information continues to change – the reason you do it won’t be any time soon. Data is likely the driving force behind your company’s growth. And that means you need ITAM to ensure it’s effectively protected, visible, and controlled should something go wrong.

Today, ITAM is considered the most advanced foundation for many business risk management foundations because it delivers a greater level of detail and understanding to your IT team. You’re always aware of changes taking place in your tech environment. ITAM helps you keep track of how your devices are performing, how they’re currently configured, and whether or not dangerous behaviors are taking place at any point in the asset management lifecycle.

Simply put, this heightened level of operational awareness leads to a better security posture that’s even more capable of ensuring your data privacy compliance.

For many businesses, ITAM is thought of almost exclusively as a solution to eliminate mundane work. And that’s true if your approach only leverages its advantages for device inventory and auditing purposes. But ITAM can deliver much more – by taking advantage of its full potential, ITAM is a core strategy to help you handle the explosion of device and systems management you’re experiencing (or will inevitably experience soon).

A strategic ITAM solution can help you identify data privacy risks earlier than ever, giving IT the ability to proactively protect its technology against security breaches before they have a chance to do serious damage. ITAM delivers quick, thorough responses that protect the entire lifecycle of your employees’ mission-critical devices.

Plan Ahead

Your asset management plan and data privacy tools should be viewed through the same enterprise lens. They need to complement each other and work in harmony. Which is why, for a growing number of organizations out there, implementing an advanced endpoint security solution such as Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) makes so much sense.

Regardless of how you go about it, your ITAM efforts need to include every device your employees use – whether they’re owned by the company and connected to your corporate network or not. ITAM gives you this ability by documenting data privacy-essential details of every asset you manage.

Once ITAM is implemented, it suddenly becomes possible to track important considerations like the business functions a device performs, its usage patterns, its location, its ownership path, and its remaining lifespan (as well as refresh cycles, lease date, and/or end-of-life warranty date).

And – most importantly – whether or not an asset holds sensitive data. ITAM allows you to plan ahead and ensure data privacy will be maintained before a device ever reaches your employee’s hands. Not to mention gives you real-time detection capabilities that enables you to detect changes as they occur and minimize the risk and impact of all potential breaches, too.

Manage Device Health

Developing and putting your ITAM plan into action gives you a living baseline to measure how secure your data is at all times. By comparing a single device to an entire population, you gain greater in-depth insight into how well your protections are performing, how safe your data security tools are, and whether or not your devices are exposed to serious risks – ensuring you make the most informed decisions about your IT environment whenever changes need to be made.

Are your applications and software patches working properly after that last update? Are your users following usage policies and exhibiting healthy behavior? Do you have a plan to find out (and remedy) whenever a device is lost or stolen? Because with ITAM, these answers are a resounding “Yes.” And that can be the different between effective data privacy and a fine that costs up to four percent of your annual global revenue…

Secure Your Retirement Process

If you want to guarantee data privacy, your ITAM program needs to monitor asset security at every step – including after they leave your IT environment. Without a comprehensive device retirement plan in place, you make your enterprise susceptible to some of the most serious data privacy risks possible.

Establishing a secure end-of-life process for your IT assets ensures data privacy from the first time they enter your environment to the last. And, that any sensitive data is secured, sanitized, and removed before it’s retired and potentially ends up in an outsider’s hands.

How do you manage device returns when its owner leaves the company or doesn’t need it any longer? Who do you trust to wipe your devices before recycling them? Having an ITAM solution that confirms a secure asset retirement process takes place is the only way you can confidently answer these questions.

As the volume (and value) of the data you rely on continues to grow, maintaining visibility and compliance with data privacy regulations such as GDPR will only become more important to overall business success. And proactive ITAM is your best chance to make this happen.

If you want to learn more about how we’ve helped our partners protect their devices and data privacy for almost three decades, schedule your engineer-led demo of the FileWave platform today.

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