Shadow IT, is a Security Nightmare.
(What is it and why should you be concerned?)
Not so long ago, the IT admin chose exactly what hardware and software would be used by employees. However recent trends like the consumerization of IT and BYOD (bring your own device) have shifted the balance of power. The important thing to remember is your company IT dept. still has to maintain some degree of control over the applications used and where sensitive data is stored. Unfortunately, many users just download apps or start using unsanctioned services, though, and introduce security risks through “shadow IT.”
McAfee sponsored a study by Frost & Sullivan to investigate the scope and impact of shadow IT–specifically SaaS (software-as-a-service) applications being used by employees without the knowledge or consent of IT–or even in direct contradiction to IT policies. The study focused on apps that are used for work functions (not games or other services).
This is important to point out when discussing this. It goes without saying some employees will spend time updating Facebook, shopping, or killing time with Angry Birds or the newest game. As all of these activities should be governed by IT policies and monitored. If however, an employee identifies a legitimate need that isn’t being met by the approved services, and goes rogue to find their own solution. The organization should try to understand why, and figure out how to meet the need. “Shadow IT” becomes a problem when the ownership of the account or services comes into question since users are mixing business and personal apps often on their personal devices. A clearly-defined policy governing adoption of SaaS apps should be created, helping users understand why this is not allowed and how to get access to solutions to fill needs they have.
Managed Services Can Help
Managed Services let you offload specific IT operations to a service provider, known as a Managed Services Provider. These managed service providers assume ongoing responsibility for monitoring, managing and/or problem resolution for selected IT systems and functions on behalf of your company.
Just like larger companies, small businesses need technology to operate efficiently and to compete effectively. But as reliance on IT grows, the resources to support an increasingly complex IT environment may not. In many small businesses, IT resources are scarce, and can be quickly overwhelmed with the day-to-day responsibilities of keeping the IT infrastructure that the business depends on up and running. Working with dedicated IT [Information Technology] partners like Slick Cyber Systems makes security and control over IT infrastructure easier thereby eliminating Shadow IT within your organization.