Recent studies demonstrate just how big the problem of IT resource abuse by end users has become. In fact, IT managers claim that employee misuse of IT systems is even more worrisome that potential attacks by hackers and other outside threats.
IT asset management solutions can help businesses of all types and sizes to detect – and proactively prevent – abuse of their IT systems.
What exactly constitutes IT resource abuse?
Most firms will agree that using technology assets in a way that will negatively impact the performance and reliability of that particular system – as well as other systems across the business – would clearly be considered IT resource abuse. This can include downloading unauthorized programs, such as games, that could introduce spyware, viruses, or other risks into the environment, as well as any activities, such as peer-to-peer file sharing, that would waste valuable network bandwidth.
It can also mean using illegal or unlicensed copies of authorized software, which can increase the company’s exposure to potential fines and penalties for vendor non-compliance. Or, the download of music, videos, and other forms of entertainment that can put a business at risk of copyright infringement.
But, nowadays, many companies strongly believe that any use of IT assets for non-work purposes should be viewed as resource abuse, since it can dramatically slow down workforce productivity. This could include something as obviously unacceptable as storing offensive or pornographic photos on a desktop, to something as seemingly harmless as chatting with friends via IM on company time.
With IT asset management solutions, companies can better control how their assets are utilized – and put a stop to IT resource abuse – by effectively implementing and enforcing a broad-reaching hardware and software usage policy. IT teams can define such guidelines as:
- What software, hardware, and other components are allowed/authorized
- How assets should be requested and purchased
- What steps should be followed for installation, upgrades, and maintenance
- What is considered acceptable/unacceptable utilization of each asset
With IT asset management in place, organizations can identify which employees are accessing which IT systems, and track how each user is utilizing each asset. As a result, IT staff can ensure adherence to the company’s hardware and software usage policy at all times, and take immediate corrective action when users are found to be breaking the rules.This valuable, timely insight can help companies fight IT resource abuse – which in turn will reduce risk, increase productivity, and preserve the integrity and security of the IT architecture.