Fixed Assets are more than what’s tangible

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For most businesses fixed asset are those items such as vehicles, computer hardware and other such tangible assets. Many of these assets are seen as the tools used to drive the everyday operations of the business. What about those intangible assets that are created as a by-product of these such as data.

These intellectual assets, which are the IP of the company are stored on hard drives and must be protected and managed just like any other fixed asset. A study complied by GO-Gulf.com, which combines the results from several surveys, shows that 39 percent of data theft from businesses comes from company insiders. Even more troublesome, 59 percent of ex-employees admit they stole data from their former employers.

This highlights a need to manage these assets. Tracking identities and security protocols can provide some of the answers. Disabling copy functionality and exports are also an option, the challenge for any modern (technology enabled) organisation is where you draw the line when empowering employees to do their job. Certainly BYOD has only introduced another element of risk.

Forbes has reported that necessary steps should always be taken in order to prevent loss as a result of theft and that companies should focus on areas where they are most vulnerable and address them from an individual security perspective.

An intelligent ERP business process management software solution which includes real-time analytics and alerts is one method where business can keep abreast of anomalies that occur within their transactional database. Take for example businesses with physical inventory. They will more than likely already be monitoring thresholds for reordering or stock taking. The same can be applied through audit tracking and business intelligence. Let’s say the system was able to trigger off an alert when staff performed questionable or abnormal activities. For example downloading all the CRM or AR account details to a file or bulk printing price lists.

What if a manager was alerted in real-time or via a weekly report sent directly to their mobile device when such activities occurred? Now let’s assume that most activities are as a normal course of business, but should the discrepancies be potentially related to theft and fraud, managers can act proactively and rapidly.

It may be hard to view data as something that is managed via the fixed asset management program. Although in relation to theft it highlights the need for companies to take any and all precautions to make sure that proprietary or confidential information doesn't end up in the wrong hands.

Fixed assets June 2014 2

Stephen Duncan

Stephen Duncan

Stephen Duncan is a Technology Retail Specialist.

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