Shadow IT Impacts – How Organizations Securing Data Against Shadow IT

Pallavi Varanasi Cloud Security Expert - CloudCodes Software
  • August 19th, 2020

Why Shadow IT Impacts Mars Organizational Security?

IT teams need to reposition them. Company employees are not subverting these departments entirely out of malice, but these users only wish to want to meet their organizational work productivity goals. Instead of being barriers for company users, IT Infrastructure needs to create its value, which is somehow missing. It is why Shadow IT impacts are massive. IT teams must always be there with the help of users. Changes need to be made in their adaptation to the use of cloud services 

While this process could be tricky, but IT people need constant monitoring of unsanctioned apps and another unauthorized cloud usage, address them with users, and then try listening to their replies. The approval process must be faster, and all the more flexible. Finally, steps are needed to ensure openness in communication. Technology to monitor/control unsanctioned cloud apps and cloud usage could be applied, but shutting down SaaS is not a feasible choice. 

IT teams must use Shadow IT monitoring for learning more in detail about delivering value to all departments and evolving with user needs. Also, reverting to “business in the usual sense” is accessible, but at the same time, it is risky too. When IT teams lose touch with users, they create cloud security risks inherent in Shadow IT impacts. 

Why Shadow IT Solutions Are A Must Have In Cloud Environments?

Using cloud services in workplaces is augmenting exponentially. Current cloud usage level of more than triple than what it was four years back! Despite this increasing prevalence of cloud services, most cloud apps used in companies fall into the category of shadow IT. It potentially puts sensitive organizational data at theft and leakage risks.   

Shadow IT is the unauthorized use of cloud services by the employees of an organization, without putting that into the knowledge of that organization’s IT teams. They usually miss robust cloud security controls. Firms can alleviate these Shadow IT impacts by using CASB solutions to gain better cloud visibility and more extensive control over shadow SaaS usage while maintaining the benefits of employee productivity due to flexible cloud usage. Against the backdrop of all these current trends, here are some top ways Cloud Access Security Brokers help firms in taking better control over their shadow cloud usage. 

  • Discovery of cloud services that are in use: The initial step to understanding and protect against potentially high-risk cloud service usage usually involves determining the extent of shadow IT impacts within enterprises. CASB solutions would enable IT, teams to discover cloud services that are in use by all users and organizational units and identify which of those cloud services don’t meet the required security essentials. CASB solutions help in streamlining the processes by keeping a check on shadow IT devices. 
  • CASBs can help IT in detecting cloud usage through report generation of unauthorized cloud usage attempts to assess the risks involved with cloud services. CASB solutions also help put checks on these services to share critical and sensitive data being shared with 3rd parties without IT permission. Ownership of data uploaded over the cloud is a crucial risk-assessment criterion, as it would pose a threat to sensitive information getting exposed. Risk assessment is an integral part of any CASB solution, as it would identify potential benefits and risks associated with the use of these cloud services. 
  • Applying cloud governance policies: CASB solutions help in securely enforcing various restriction policies to manage organizations’ Shadow IT vulnerabilities through potentially blacklisting apps & other dangerous services and promoting only the useful ones. Thus limiting these data vulnerabilities, and at the same time, maximizing employee work productivity. 
  • Detect leakages: Using CASB solutions, enterprises can also detect malware that might be operating on an enterprise cloud network, leveraging the cloud as a vector for data exfiltration, including sensitive data being exhilarated via private user accounts. While cloud governance policies for shadow IT impacts mainly focus on the prevention of critical information from getting uploaded to any non-sanctioned apps, preventing data exfiltration in sanctioned cloud apps is also crucial for efficient cloud security. 
  • Gain granular control: With CASB solutions, enterprises can quickly gain granular control at the user level, activity level, and data level.