Eliminating the threat of Shadow IT

Eliminating the threat of Shadow IT has never been more important. While your employees will largely recognise the importance of IT, there will be an underlining trend where employees take some elements of IT into their own hands. These few will use their own devices, apps and software for business use, without IT’s approval — this is called Shadow IT.

With every best intention, an employee may use a particular app or website to aid their role. Many end-users are under the illusion that their own personal IT choices will make them more efficient in the workplace. However, the data shows otherwise.

At home, we are all our own IT Managers, and of course, we know best when it comes to deciding what works best for us personally, and what doesn’t. But sadly, this mentality is often brought back into the workplace too.

“Our data shows that there is well over 1,100 cloud applications used in large enterprises today, and IT isn’t even aware of more than 60% of them. This leads to large numbers of shadow IT in organisations and introduces security and compliance risks”

Rob Lefferts - Microsoft 365 Security VP

Shadow IT is nothing new…

Indeed, the lines between personal and business tech began to blur as soon as the home computer was the norm. From your 80s floppy, to your 90s CD-R and into your naughties USB drive – the ability of employees to run their own software and upload and download data has pretty much, always been there. Shadow IT has potentially always been a problem. Today though, new cloud apps are flooding the business marketplace on a daily basis.

With every will in the world – and with all the internal customer niceties in place – many employees will blame their perceived perception of IT’s ‘culture of no!” as the main reason why they take IT into their own hands, so what can be done?

The ongoing issue of shadow IT

The use of consumer-grade cloud apps without IT’s approval can and should be highlighted as a massive risk to your business continuity. Although the perceived reward of increased productivity is deemed greater than the perceived – or even known – security risk, employees will often work in the shadows to bend and breaks the rules. Because they think they know best?

And that’s just the good guys trying to be more productive. Let’s not forget the malicious breaches using consumer-grade tools. The potential risks to your business could be catastrophic and simply can’t be ignored.

Starting to solve the problem of Shadow IT

  • Increase communication
  • Implementation or review of security training
  • Define roles of responsibility and accountability
  • Conduct regular audits and review remote monitoring
  • Review technology and software training
  • Seek advice from end-users when choosing applications

Need help?

Do you require any support auditing, reviewing or monitoring your IT systems? Please get in touch with our support team – or book a video call.