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Fixed Asset Tracking: Asset Security

In most asset tracking installations, security has seldom been a driving force for system implementation. After all, they're fixed assets and don't move much. But in the last 18 months, we have seen a surprising number of organizations sustaining sizeable losses when their assets were stolen.

In most cases, the scam is similar and simple. An employee responsible either for the purchase or control of fixed assets exploits a surplus of IT assets. The surplus is important because it does not affect day-to-day operations and the absence of the assets is not missed.

Often, the need for extra computers may be completely legitimate - an office closing or downsizing may occur, an upgrade process may require a temporary purchase of several dozen computers or specialized equipment may be used only occasionally. In other cases, it may not - purchase documents are simply padded with extra units and approved in the normal course of business. Later, assets disappear from the organization and reappear on an on-line auction site. A crime goes unnoticed unless adequate controls are in place and maintained.

While we cannot guarantee that an automated asset tracking system will prevent theft, we can immeasurably improve the odds. Any system, automated or not, relies on proper maintenance but using scanning technology allows tasks to be performed quickly and accurately. Moreover, proper tagging of assets makes audits quick and accurate.

Now, where was that laptop?