Inventory control and acquired hardware and software in Ecuador
With the purpose of ensuring the correct and efficient administration of the resources and goods of the entities and agencies of the Ecuadorian public sector, the State Comptroller’s Office issued the internal control standards, which constitute guidelines aimed at complying with these objectives. It is very important that companies have their controlled, monitored and orderly inventory, since the purpose is to distribute and supply properly the material available.
Inventory control brings with it a series of benefits, which, in many cases, become necessity, especially when the complexity of the infrastructure increases. Therefore, today there are tools in the market that allow facilitating this work, automating the collection of information through a process of self-discovery of network elements and avoiding the allocation of a large number of resources for the generation of an exhaustive inventory. Organizations must provide a basis to mitigate the risks derived from the use of illegal programs and to control the software. They also have to analyze their use and monitor that licenses are met.
Its control is one of the large pending issues in many companies, causing companies to use software without having entitled or have installed in their software equipment that they are not using. For this reason, organizations must keep a record of copies deployed in the business to guarantee their good use. All this will contribute to reducing software spending. Likewise, that companies take advantage of this type of resources depend on inventory explorations and how they manage the processes and systems of software and hardware files. Its administration will have an impact on the implementation of different protection policies.
Having an automated hardware and software inventory system is essential, since it allows access to real -time data, regardless of the location of assets. In addition, with its control, throughout the life cycle, productivity increases, minimizing all its deficiencies. Having an updated software inventory allows you to automate the necessary changes efficiently, dodging unnecessary expenses. Therefore, having insured information means that the organization, ultimately, can make better decisions for progress in its services, business and future projects.
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Hardware and Software Inventory Control.
Among the different important aspects that allow inventory control, we can mention the following:
- Respond to the current and future demands of the business, aligning investments on computer infrastructure with strategic plans and not making unnecessary investments.
- Control the use and cost of systems, thus counting more information to apply infrastructure improvements and support processes.
- Compliance with regulations in relation to software licenses management. [two]
EGSI / internal control standards
In the document called “Government Safety Scheme EGSI”, it is mentioned on asset inventories, which are defined as a list of all those resources, whether physical, information, software, documents, services, people, people, people,intangible and other resources that may exist within the scope of the EGSI, which are considered to have a very important value for the organization, for this reason, these must be protected from possible risks to which they may be exposed;Next, some of them are mentioned.
In the government security scheme EGSI, in its section 3 (corresponding to assets management) we are mentioned the following assets that we must take into account when performing inventory control within a given organization.
a.Hardware support asset inventory
This type of inventories allows you to control all installed equipment and manage their devices and servers throughout the hardware life cycle. It can be said that it is a formal document in which a computer hardware features are detailed. Dimensions, model, speed, capacity, etc.
Hardware support asset inventories serve to keep a record of physical components, such as memory, system, audio and video, peripherals and other hardware details.In the government security scheme, EGSI is defined each of the aspects that must be taken into account to perform a correct hardware inventory, the slums are detailed below:
- Mobile equipment: smartphone (smartphone), cell phone, tablet, laptop, personal digital assistant (PDA), etc.
- Fixed equipment: tower server, blade server, rack server, desktop computer, laptops, etc.
- Input peripherals: keyboard, mouse, microphone, flat scanner, hand scanner, digital camera, webcam, optical pencil, touch screen, etc.
- Output peripherals: monitor, projector, headphones, speakers, laser printer, ink injection printer, matrix printer, thermal printer, pleotr, fax machine, etc.
- Peripherals and storage devices: storage system (NAS, San), tape bookstore, magnetic tapes, portable hard drive, flexible disc, disc recorder (CD, DVD, Blu-ray), CD, DVD, Blu-ray,USB memory, etc.
- Communications peripherals: USB card for wireless networks (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPRS, HSDPA), PcMcia card for wireless networks (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPRS, HSDPA), USB card for wireless/wireless data and telephony networks, etc.
- Boards: transfer (bypass) of the uninterrupted unit of energy (UPS), of electric power outputs, automatic energy transfer, etc.
- Systems: Access control, air conditioning, automatic fire extinguishing, closed television circuit, etc.
b. Software support asset inventory
A software inventory is one that consists of all software and applications that are used in a IT environment. It can be said that a software inventory is a formal document in which a computer software characteristics are detailed, such as: serial name, type of software, license type, etc.
The process of maintaining a software inventory record is called software inventory management.In the government security scheme EGSI is defined each of the aspects that must be taken into account to perform a correct software inventory, the slums are detailed below:
- Operating systems.
- Service, maintenance or administration software of: blade servers, servers (shelf/rack, tower, virtual), data network system, storage systems (NAS, San), telephony, systems (UPS, generating group,, air conditioning, automatic fire extinguishing, closed television circuit), etc. [two]
- Software or base software packages of: office suite, Internet browser, email customer, instant messaging, image editing, video conference, server (proxy, files, email, impressions, instant messaging,applications, database), etc.
- Business Computer Applications.
It is necessary to take into account that, if there are no precise and detailed data on the hardware and software of the organization, it is practically impossible to make optimal management of IT assets and associated costs and risks. Having better data on assets, in short, leads to an improvement in the decision -making process and business performance.
c. Inventory of network support assets
The network inventory covers not only physical equipment (hardware), but also covers digital solutions (software) used in the company. This type of inventories allows the fastest tracking of the devices. In general, that work can consume a lot of time, since companies that do not adopt network inventory can in much of the cases lose equipment and not be able to recover them due to lack of adequate record. In the government security scheme, EGSI is defined each of the aspects that must be taken into account to perform a correct networks inventory, the slums are detailed below:
- Communications cables (interfaces: RJ-45 or RJ-11, SC, ST or MT-RJ, V35 interface, RS232, USB, SCSI, LPT), Connection Panel (Patch Panel), Tomas or Network Points, Racks (closed or open, floor or wall), etc.
- Switches (of data centers, access, edge, servers cabinet, access-power, transceiver, data terminal equipment, etc.).
- Ruffer (router), firewall (firewall), wireless network controller, etc.
- Intruder Detection/Prevention System (IDS/IPS), Web Applications Firewall, Load Balance, Content Switch, etc.
C. Process of acquisition of hardware and software within the organization
To properly carry out the process of acquiring both hardware and software, certain aspects must be considered, which are detailed in the document issued by the State Comptroller’s Office, called “Internal Control Standards of the State General Comptroller”.
It should be taken into account that each of the public sector entities and agencies, to properly carry out compliance with institutional objectives and needs, will formulate the annual contracting plan with the corresponding budget. This plan will contain the works, goods and services including consultancy to be hired during the fiscal year, in accordance with the planning of the institution associated with the National Development Plan. This plan will include the acquisitions to be carried out both by the general regime and by the special regime, established in the law.
- Registration of suppliers and entities: For the purposes of this rule, any natural or legal personThe public purchasing portal. Similarly, contracting entities will be registered on the portal to access the use of the national public procurement system tools.
For contracting, public sector entities and agencies will make hiring for acquisition or leasing of goods, execution of works and provision of services including consulting, through the National Public Procurement System.
The highest authority will establish the controls that ensure that the acquisitions are adjusted to the planned, while determining the guidelines that will serve as the basis for an adequate administration of the purchases of goods, considering, among others, the following measures:
- The acquisitions will be requested, authorized and executed with sufficient anticipation and in the appropriate amounts.
- The execution of purchases scheduled for the year will be made taking into consideration real consumption, storage capacity, financial convenience and time regularly takes the procedure.
- The acquisition of goods with expiration date, such as medicines and others, will be carried out in amounts that cover the need less than the expiration of the active substance.
- The supply units or warehouses necessary to guarantee adequate and timely provision will be maintained.
- The lease of goods will be done considering the institutional benefit against the acquisition alternative.
- The certification of budgetary availability, as well as the present or future existence of sufficient resources to cover the obligations derived from hiring.
Maintenance and control of technological infrastructure
The Information Technology Unit of each organization will define and regulate the procedures that guarantee the proper maintenance and use of the technological infrastructure of the entities.
- Definition of procedures for maintenance and release of planning application software, due to changes to legal and regulatory provisions, for correction and improvement of them or by user requirements.
- The changes made in procedures, processes, systems and services agreements will be registered, evaluated and authorized prior to its implementation in order to reduce the integrity risks of the production environment. The detail and information of these modifications will be registered in their corresponding logbook and informed to all related actors and end users, attaching the respective evidence.
- Control and registration of software versions entering production.
- Update of the technical and user manuals for each change or maintenance that is carried out, the same that will be constantly disseminated and publication.
- Independent development/testing and production environments will be established;Logical and physical security measures and mechanisms will be implemented to protect resources and guarantee their integrity and availability in order to provide a reliable and safe information technology infrastructure.
Inventory control is a very useful tool within an organization, since it helps a better management of the resources that the company has. Controlled, monitored and detailed inventories of computer equipment allow an institution or company to properly distribute their computer resources.
- CISET, «Hardware and Software Inventory Control,» 14 05 2019. [Online]. Available: https: // www.Ciset.ES/PUBLICATIONS/BLOG/340-CONTROL-DE-INVENTARY-HARDWARE-Y-SOFTWARE.
- Government Safety Scheme of the Information Egsi, Quito, 2013.
- Milvus, «Importance of the network inventory,» 28 03 2018. [Online]. Available: https: // milvus.Online/Blog/What-the-Importance-Del-Inventario-De-Red/.
- Organic Code of the Social Economy of Knowledge, Creativity and Innovation, Quito, 2016.