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Malicious attacks on company’s IT systems are increasing. If you don’t believe it, then just read the news. Each week, more companies and government organizations appear in headlines with data breaches, ransomware attacks and malware disrupting operations. Customers are becoming wary of sharing personal information; regulators are increasing the frequency/intensity of compliance audits; and shareholders are noting how company leaders are managing technology risk. To manage security risk, you must start with an accurate and complete picture of the components in your IT environment. If you don’t know what you have, then you can’t protect yourself from individuals and organizations that want to cause you harm.

 

Hallmarks of Quality Data

 

Informed decision-making requires confidence in the data that leaders are viewing – it’s all about trust. Do you know the quality of your current IT data or even how to evaluate it? Here are 3 hallmarks of quality data of upmost importance.

 

1. Complete

2. Accurate

3. Current

 

CMDB Data Quality Issues

 

Most companies use the CMDB in their IT Service Management system as the primary repository of data about the components in their IT environment and how they are interconnected. CMDB data is populated from a variety of sources, such as discovery tools, procurement systems and infrastructure management tools. When they are assembled, the pieces of the puzzle don’t always fit together nicely. There are often gaps, overlaps, conflicting data, missing attributes and data collected at different times. These issues can lead to an incomplete, inaccurate and obsolete picture of your IT environment in your CMDB.

 

Data Quality and Security Risk

 

Hackers and others with nefarious intent aren’t targeting the data in your CMDB when they attack your company – they are targeting the IT systems themselves. The data in your CMDB is the tool to deter the attack and strengthen your company defenses. Think of it like a map of a battlefield: the data in your CMDB reveal your components, their function, their capability, where they are positioned and basic indicators of their health (patch status, versions, age, etc.). If you look at the map and the data isn’t accurate, or is incomplete, then you can’t make well-informed decisions. If, conversely, you can trust the picture of your environment, then it will reveal your vulnerabilities and provide you with the insights you need to act to strengthen your defenses.

 

How to Improve CMDB Data Quality

 

To improve the quality of data in your CMDB, you actually only have 2 options. If managing security risk is important to your company, then you probably need to pursue both options.

 

  1. Clean the data already there to resolve conflicts and address gaps
  2. Put capabilities in place to scrub new data, so new quality issues aren’t introduced

 

Blazent has the tools to help you improve your CMDB data quality with an IT Health Check service to show your current gaps and data quality management tools to help ensure new data entering your CMDB is complete, accurate and current. To learn more, visit www.blazent.com.