Why Ghost Assets are bad for your GDPR compliance

Tristan Terlouw – Digital Marketing Strategy Nixon

 6 Januari 2022

Ensuring data protection and privacy is one of the most important functions of an IT organization, especially as the number of data breaches in organizations continues to rise. In fact, the number of average breach incidents increased by 14% in 2021 compared to the previous year.

However, the financial threat is not the only reason to prioritize data protection and privacy. Customer trust is a critical factor in building a customer base, and a data leak can have a direct impact on this trust. Public perception of a company can suffer significantly after a data leak, which is why it is so important to take steps to prevent them.

GDPR in a world of remote working

Having a complete and accurate inventory of all your IT assets, along with detailed information about all of your company’s IT assets, is an important step towards GDPR compliance. However, many IT managers lack this inventory. Up to 30% of organizations do not even know what digital assets they own, which are known as “ghost assets,” and 70% of organizations have a discrepancy of at least 30% between their reported fixed inventory and what is actually available to them.

Shadow IT is also a major problem for GDPR compliance. Research by Forcepoint found that 56% of employees between the ages of 18 and 30 rely on shadow IT to get their work done, while 67% of them said it makes their jobs easier. Teams within organizations often bypass IT and implement software and services without formal approval, making them nearly impossible to track and secure. If the company is unaware of these assets, they can’t protect them.

The transition to a hybrid workplace, with employees working from home and potentially using personal devices to connect to corporate networks, also brings complexity and potential vulnerabilities. It’s important for companies to have measures in place to protect and secure all of their digital assets to ensure GDPR compliance.

Nixon can help organizations identify and manage ghost assets by providing a centralized domain registry that allows IT teams to map all of their domains and gain visibility into their digital infrastructure. With the Nixon platform, IT teams can organize their domains by assigning them to business owners and units, categorizing them by CMS or hosting agency, and receiving notifications when new domains are added to their portfolio. The real-time dashboard also provides instant insight into the performance, compliance, and accessibility of their domains.

By using Nixon to manage their digital infrastructure, organizations can reduce the risk of ghost assets and ensure that all of their IT assets are properly documented and accounted for. This can help them meet the requirements of data protection laws like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and build trust with their customers.

IT asset management and GDPR

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requires more than just having a set of policies and implementing procedures. IT teams need full visibility into all devices, software installations, users, and online domains, as well as the ability to document all IT resources. During compliance audits, companies must be able to retrieve data quickly and efficiently to prove that they have taken the necessary steps to protect customer data. This has made IT asset management (ITAM) even more important for GDPR compliance and protecting your organization.

Deep scanning technologies can provide unprecedented insight into the IT domain, making it faster and easier to scan, detect, recognize, and document all of your digital assets. IT teams can gain insights into and control over their digital landscape, quickly identifying vulnerabilities and implementing updates to ensure security and data protection. Complete and accurate inventories of IT assets can also be maintained for documentation, reporting, and auditing purposes.

By leveraging ITAM and deep scanning technologies, IT teams can ensure GDPR compliance and protect their organization against potential data breaches and other security threats.

Ghost assets and shadow IT

The GDPR is only the beginning

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is not the only data protection law that companies need to comply with. As global standards for data security and privacy continue to evolve, it’s important for organizations to ensure that their digital environment complies with a growing number of laws. For example, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) in the United States and the Data Security Law (DSL) in China both define the privacy rights of consumer data and require companies to implement data classification systems.

As consumers become more powerful in terms of controlling what happens to their data, it’s important for companies to gain their trust in order to build loyalty and retain customers. One way to do this is by having a centralized domain registry that provides full visibility and control over your digital application landscape. With the Nixon Platform, you can map all of your domains and organize them by assigning them to business owners and units, categorizing them by CMS or hosting agency, and receiving notifications when new domains are added to your portfolio. The real-time dashboard also provides instant insight into the performance, compliance, and accessibility of your domains.

Nixon can greatly assist in the management and maintenance of a company’s digital infrastructure. By utilizing the Nixon Platform, businesses can not only ensure compliance with data protection regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The Nixon Platform offers a range of tools and features designed to streamline the management of digital assets. In addition, the Nixon Platform provides valuable insights and analytics that can help businesses to optimize their digital infrastructure and make informed decisions about future investments. Overall, adopting the Nixon Platform can greatly enhance a company’s ability to effectively manage and maintain its digital infrastructure, while also building trust and confidence with customers.

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