Dealing with Shadow IT Challenges

Pallavi VaranasiCloud Security Expert - CloudCodes Software
  • February 5th, 2020

In this competitive cyber world, most of the company’s information and data are stored in the cloud. Certain applications can be accessed by genuine users who are allowed to, but there can be a situation when an unauthorized user can access the cloud and pose a threat to the organization. This can lead to data security attacks and compliance violations. As the usage of cloud applications keep growing, so will the Shadow IT challenges.

Technically, it is called ‘Shadow IT,’ where an unauthorized user accesses the internal IT system and application of an organization. Shadow IT evolved as a result of users bypassing IT resources as they do not have access to the right application and data, thereby risking the organizational data.

For example, the IT team may avoid a specific cloud solution as it’s not secure but if an employee starts using this cloud solution without informing the IT, then they place company data at risk.

So, what are the measures that will resolve Shadow IT challenges? Here are a few steps that will help you to deal with it:

1. Understanding the Scope of Shadow IT

As per statistics, the use of Shadow IT in an organization ranges between 30- 60%, and the survey clearly depicts a growing trend in them. Firstly, organizations must conduct a survey to know the presence of Shadow IT within their organization.

It is advisable to keep track of what users are connecting to, and for how long are they are using it. The easiest way to know the presence of Shadow IT is through regular monitoring of networks and scanning unknown devices. This process helps in gathering more information about the new and unknown devices on the network.

2. Risk evaluation in dealing with Shadow IT Challenges

Not every device and software network is prone to risks. The first step in the process of evaluating this issue is to first identify and address the high-risk services in the network. It is essential to take timely actions and blocking the access of certain authorized users on any foreign device.

The information technology team of any organization must conduct a thorough regulatory and examination process to identify such security threats and protect the network by taking stringent actions against such authorized users.

3. Technology and Guidelines

It is crucial to resolve the challenges faced by organizations due to Shadow IT. The IT experts can share all the authorized and approved applications with the users to prevent any sort of data breach. It purely depends on the organizations to approve any device or technology after thorough authentication and verification.

No company can compromise with its data security and privacy; hence it is the responsibility of the organization to encourage its users to access only authorized and approved technology, application, or device.

4. Restriction on third-party apps

Companies these days need to be ahead of time in operating their business. Organizations can always do third-party app restrictions like Dropbox, SharePoint, and a few others, which lead to cyber threats.

Furthermore, companies can also layout stringent IT policies for their employees to prevent them from accessing any third-party or suspicious application on the cloud. Organizations these days have set up an internal IT auditing team that keeps a regular check on all the applications and the users accessing it.

5. Flexibility to Users

In this fast-paced world, each one of us wants to access the data on any available device. Organizations can provide secure and easy to access data networks to their employees, which not just reduces the risk of data threats but also encourages flexible access to information to authorized users.

With the help of a mobile management platform or strict cyber policies, an organization can always monitor the devices on which their employees are accessing information and take necessary actions in case data threats or policy violations.
Key Points:

According to a survey conducted in the U.S, employees in an organization use more than 1000 different cloud applications, thus creating a massive risk to the company’s network. Ever since 2014, the trend in the employees accessing various cloud services is increasing drastically. This inevitably leads to a violation of data security and privacy compliance.

Dealing with Shadow IT challenges is not as complicated as preventing the employees from violating the security policies of a company. Shadow IT is a common phenomenon for every organization, and if the company finds its existence, then it must plan intensively to protect its sensitive information against any forms of threats and cyber-attacks.