You’ve probably heard the term Shadow IT, especially on television these days. Basically, Shadow IT is when an organization uses third party services and programs to conduct business operations. These third-party services and programs are not provided by the company itself and are used by employees who are not subject to corporate policies and procedures. This can result in downtime, loss of competitive edge and increased risk of non-compliance.

Cloud services are the most common form of shadow IT

Almost one-third of employees admitted to using SaaS (Software as a Service SaaS) applications without prior IT approval. Shadow IT has become an increasing problem in the workplace. Fortunately, there are several solutions available to combat shadow IT.

The first step in combatting shadow IT is to identify all your cloud services. This is easy to do with several tools available. In addition, IT departments can also set strict rules for shadow IT. Some organizations even block access to specific programs using software audits.

Another method is to create an internal app store to house approved corporate applications. This can help to increase employee productivity. It also increases employee retention.

Shadow IT is often used by employees when their IT tools are not adequate. It can also be used as a source to drive innovation. This can help employees to collaborate faster and improve productivity. It can also help to retain outstanding people.

Employees are not subject to corporate policies and procedures because of Shadow IT

Identifying shadow IT and putting an end to it is a multi-faceted issue. The first step is to clearly explain the issues associated with this practice to your organization. It is also important to keep a pulse on the activities of your users. Keeping tabs on your users will help to ensure the security of your company’s data and systems.

If you haven’t heard of Shadow IT before, it’s an umbrella term for information technology that is outside of your IT department’s control. It can include personal productivity applications, cloud services that are tailored to the needs of your business division, and even personal devices that are used at work.

Identifying the best applications for your specific needs can help you streamline your company’s technology. However, a good rule of thumb is to choose only applications from approved vendors. This will help to ensure that your employees are using the right resources to do their job. Employees feel that they can be more productive by using their own shadow it resources. 

Consider the employee who works at home. The business has a lack of visibility into the employee’s computer. There could be sensitive data on this machine. 

This is a huge blind spot for the company.  Should a data breach occur, it could be likely that a Shadow IT application is to blame. 

Shadow IT can lead to downtime

Often, the shadow IT solution is the same as the corporate IT solution. The difference is in the process. 

This could mean that the tools that are most effective for the task may not be endorsed by IT. This could also mean that there is a lack of communication between IT and end users. This can slow down the adoption of new technology and may also result in critical data leaks.

IT departments should dismantle barriers and provide efficient communication to IT users. The benefits include easier adoption of new software, a more convenient effort from IT users, and employee retention.

Using Shadow IT Increases likelihood that your data will end up outside of your control

Whether you’re a small business owner or an executive, shadow IT has the potential to increase your risk of data loss and security violations. It’s important to understand the risks and the ways you can control them.

Shadow IT can increase risks and costs, primarily by expanding the attack surface. It can also decrease the value of existing software investments. It can also introduce indirect costs. Shadow IT may not be backed up, it may not be encrypted, and it may not be archived.

Increased risk of non-compliance by utilizing Shadow IT

Using shadow IT can pose security issues for your organization. It could create data leaks, non-compliance issues, and even legal problems. In addition, it can undermine your data security and brand reputation.

The best way to manage shadow IT is to have a practical IT governance framework in place. This should include a policy that outlines how your organization will approve and manage unsanctioned apps.

A robust discovery process will help reduce shadow IT risks. It will also help you understand the full scope of your SaaS application inventory. This means that you can restrict unauthorized apps before they escalate.

Loss of competitive edge from Shadow IT

Using information technology without formal IT approval can be detrimental to your company’s security and brand reputation. In fact, according to an article published by Cisco in 2016, approximately 80% of end user software isn’t cleared by IT.

In addition to creating a security risk, shadow IT can also cost you money. If employees use shadow IT, they are using unapproved applications, your company could end up paying big fees for unlicensed use. Some of these applications can also cause data loss. In addition, hackers can install tracking programs on jailbroken devices, which can steal files from users.

The Benefits of Shadow IT – Increases productivity

Using Shadow IT is becoming more popular in the workplace. Workers want to be able to do their jobs more efficiently and use technology to enhance communication. They also want to be able to collaborate with external partners.

Shadow IT is also becoming more popular in workplaces where employees work remotely, at home or on the go. Many employees do not have access to company-approved tools or workstations. They want to use programs that are more convenient for them. Using Shadow IT can help reduce the time and energy spent on manual tasks.

Shadow IT can be a powerful driver of innovation, but it can also cause some serious issues for the network. Incorrect use of software can lead to big fees for unlicensed use. Using rogue devices can also impact network performance.


To Embrace or Protect Against Shadow IT

Whether you love it, hate it, or it’s causing you pain in your organization, it’s probably best to act sooner than later. If there’s a good security policy in place, and you restrict the applications allowed to connect to your network, you should be ok. If there’s not, and you want one, you can call us. We can help you implement a policy for your organization. If you’re ok with letting your employees run their own applications, we can help you control that too, no matter if you’re in New York, Florida, or anywhere in between