Shadow IT Basics – Shedding Light On Dark Side Of Shadow IT

Pallavi Varanasi Cloud Security Expert - CloudCodes Software
  • August 16th, 2020

Shadow IT Basics

With shadow IT casting its dark shadow in businesses across continents, understanding shadow IT basics is imperative to understand the intrinsic nature of using various cloud apps within organizations’ working structures. 

What Is Shadow IT?

Shadow IT describes those IT systems as well as solutions that are built and used by the organizations without explicitly getting the approval of the organization’s IT department or management per se. IT and businesses always have been at odds as they have competing goals. It is a sort of a tug of war; IT teams look at better governance, cloud security & control, whereas business owners desire more innovation and better productivity. With conventional cloud security ways, it is not possible to keep both of these sides happy simultaneously, but with CASB as a cloud security arm, it is, in fact, likely to have the best of both worlds.  

Techno-savvy tendencies no longer concentrate only within the IT infrastructure departments. As more & more digital natives enter the workforce across continents, IT demands, and the demands of businesses are changing. Nowadays, users want technology to back their work and enable them to have a more productive computing experience at both their homes and workplaces.  

They demand to bring their devices (chiefly mobile devices) to their workplaces, and thus they bring in their own IT solutions as well. It can be disruptive for both the IT teams and the businesses if a check is not maintained for the use of apps. Cloud Access Security Brokers thus come into the picture, and their discovery indeed benefitted organizations. 

Reasons For Shadow IT Occurrence

Mostly, Shadow IT increases in organizations from the following key factors: 

  • IT staff doesn’t respect users and often treat them as an inconvenience. If IT doesn’t show the willingness towards engagements and cooperation with users, they find something of their own. 
  • IT is not innovative, and users are nowadays more techno-savvy than ever. They are endowed with rich computing experience and have encountered dominant and new IT paradigms via social media platforms. If IT does not partner with them to deliver this innovation, it won’t be surprising to see these employees discover and seek that innovation on their own. 
  • IT is expensive, and cloud services are cheaper and more convenient to put into place, thus the rise in Shadow IT! 
  • IT isn’t flexible, so users tire of every time  
  • IT is too slow, and users feel the need for speed and look for ways to provide that, and cloud apps are an easy pick, thus leading to Shadow IT. 

Shadow IT Risks

  • The most significant and most observable risk is of cloud security. Cloud services do have their data security protocols, but they may not be enough for the organization’s overall cloud security requirements. 
  • If any of the employees using Shadow IT basics end up leaving an organization, they can still have access to cloud services, critical organizational data, and clients’ details. This significant risk company’s reputation and long-term client retention in their said industries. 
  • In devoid of the knowledge of Shadow IT basics, even when credentials are not sent with employees who leave the organization, the experience of utilizing that service may leave the company when the concerned employees decide to move on. It can render the shadow service solutions useless. 

Shadow IT Basics In A Nutshell

Shadow IT doesn’t happen in vacuums. Such things result from a multitude of factors, including increased technical know-how among users, enlarged gate-keeping, and IT inertia. Novel sense of partnerships and promulgation of the critical standards and best practices can allow the IT departments to embrace this new reality and bring Shadow IT into the light. CASB security for Shadow IT can pour light onto this darkness and take organizations onto the next cloud security level, addressing shadow IT issues.