Have you ever used an app or software that was not specifically approved by your company’s IT department? If so, you’ve engaged in Shadow IT, which, while it may appear to be harmless, may constitute a substantial security risk to your firm if not managed properly.
What is Shadow IT?
The usage of any systems, apps, or software without the explicit consent of the IT department is referred to as Shadow IT. This might be as easy as using a personal email account for work reasons or communicating with coworkers via an unapproved collaboration platform. Shadow IT also includes the use of illicit software or cloud services to store and share sensitive company data.
Why is Shadow IT a Security Risk?
The usage of unlicensed software or cloud services might lead to security flaws that hackers or cybercriminals can exploit. Employees may use Shadow IT in some situations to circumvent or work around approved systems, which may result in data breaches or other security concerns. Furthermore, Shadow IT might make it more difficult for IT teams to monitor and manage the company’s technology infrastructure, potentially resulting in data integrity and compliance difficulties.
What Can You Do About it?
In reality, 80% of employees admit to utilizing unapproved programs in the course of their jobs, frequently with good intentions. Instead of outright prohibiting it, businesses can take a more flexible approach to managing Shadow IT, such as understanding which applications employees prefer and allowing them to use them as long as they can be kept secure and do not jeopardize the integrity of company data.
By embracing Shadow IT and making it work for you, you may notice that your company processes speed up and your staff become more engaged and productive. However, striking the correct balance between flexibility and security is critical. IT teams should collaborate with employees to identify potential hazards and implement suitable security measures to mitigate such risks.
Finally, Shadow IT can be a double-edged sword. While it may boost your organization’s flexibility and efficiency, it may also pose substantial security issues. Businesses may strike the appropriate balance between productivity and security by taking a more flexible and collaborative approach to managing Shadow IT. Instead of outright prohibiting non-approved applications, consider embracing them and collaborating with employees to ensure they are utilized securely and responsibly.
If you want to discuss the implications of Shadow IT further or need advice on how to manage it in your workplace, feel free to contact us.