How Can The Urge of Using Shadow IT Apps Be Lessened?

Debasish Pramanik Cloud Security Expert - CloudCodes Software
  • September 14th, 2021

The Urge For Using Shadow IT Apps:

Many companies acknowledge the need for cloud security as their highest priority. But, unless and until the tools for content collaboration are easy-to-use, employees move to not-that-much-secure shadow IT apps inevitably. These apps include Dropbox, Evernote, Google Drive, and Box, etc., which are not as secure as the Sanctioned Apps. It happens because the employees of any organization want to become more productive and try to get their work done this way, which is not secure indeed.  

Though with such a mentality, work productivity increases with underlying business purposes being fundamentally sound, and also such thought-process is worth admiration. This practice is data-risky, correctly while handling sensitive data and confidential information, which might be subjected to industry-run regulations.  

If firms wish to avoid this mishandling of critical info via data shared/stored using shadow IT apps, then it is needed on their part to introduce some collaboration solution, which can balance cloud security with ease of data access. The answer lies with a Cloud Access Security Broker providing an efficient CASB solution

Ways To Restrict Shadow IT Apps

1. Intuitive Interfaces

One significant aspect luring employees to use shadow IT apps is the ease of use. If firms can introduce collaboration solutions featuring the familiar type of natural and intuitive user interfaces, then their adoption rates can increase dramatically. Let’s take the example of say EMAIL, to which every employee would be familiar. So, if firms can incorporate secured file-sharing from within such an email interface via some “plug-in, or maybe from inside of existing enterprise-run apps using API-level integration, then secure collaboration would not be very far away. 

2. Smartphone Security

Even though the use of Smartphones for organizational work has been transformational in increasing employee’s work productivity, the backside of these mobile devices, including Smartphones & tablets, is their challenge posed with data security for IT teams worldwide! Lost/stolen mobile devices, public wifi network connections, insecure applications, and other vulnerabilities tend to make such methods of management an onus task and sensitive data. They are holding into hazardous and tricky situations from where it can be stolen or leaked. Secured mobile containers, antivirus software protection on entire data that is uploaded, and Data Loss Prevention (DLP) integration for all downloaded data are some useful enterprise security capabilities. It can help in protecting enterprise data. At the same time, it is being handled by employees remotely. 

3. Content Editing Tools

No employee would wish to learn using some different application for doing something he already knows how to be done using a much easier way. Enterprise collaboration solutions enable employees to access/share/edit data jointly in real-time. With the help of Microsoft Office Word, MS PowerPoint, and MS Excel, from any place, and by using any of the devices, increases employee work productivity considerably and alleviates the need for moving and storing these data files in unsecured shadow IT systems. 

4. That Is Always Evolving

Some tools help in informal collaborations, but they do not help support employees with the content which keeps on changing from time to time or where the users require the content delivery time. Enterprises can learn from such types of applications, which bring real-time notifications whenever the files get uploaded while having functionalities that include synchronization-control, file-expiration, and document download confirmation, and document view confirmation. If a similar tool cannot be provided, then the firm can also integrate these two and even include links to the company’s collaboration repository so that employees can get the best of both worlds! 

5. Audit & Activity Log

The regulations, which are aimed to reduce data breaches and compromise the confidentiality of customer information like Protected Health Information (PHI), etc., make those firms demonstrate complete compliance with HIPAA, etc. Resultantly, IT governance needs the ability to track and report the activity log, as to access the files and what are they doing with those files (downloading, printing, or copying) and from which locations and devices. These capabilities help to enable an organization to know what is done with that content during all access times, which is something they cannot do if employees use shadow IT apps and solutions. CASB solutions can help address such compliance issues. 

CloudCodes’ CASB Solution for Shadow IT Apps

CloudCodes Shadow IT for cloud security solutions can address Shadow IT by merely finding or understanding or securing the cloud services in organizations. CloudCodes CASB is one of the widely used and great solutions that help the organization to have better data security control inside the organizations. 

CloudCodes Shadow IT solution helps in maintaining a balance between the user needs and the needs of an enterprise for security purposes by ultimately managing all types of potential threats.  

For example, data leakage, using sanctioned apps in the cloud environment, blocking download or upload of unsanctioned apps, blacklisting cloud apps & URLs, and also by mapping & identifying cloud environment and cloud apps which organization uses. All these ensure complete enterprise security.