Business owners nowadays face too many risks trying to keep their entities afloat. One of the risks that many entrepreneurs need to look out for but don’t is Shadow IT. Shadow IT is the use of information technology systems, software, devices, services, and applications without the approval of the IT department. This is something that has grown considerably in the past years primarily due to the adoption of cloud-based services and applications.
Shadow IT has been known to be both beneficial and destructive. On one hand, it can increase the productivity of the employees. On the other, it can introduce multiple security risks to a business through potential compliance violations and data leaks among many others. This is why it important to collaborate with companies like ottomatik.io that offer backup and recovery services. They are life-savers should your firm experience any kind of tragedy that leads to loss of important data. Below you will uncover the most vital things you should know about shadow IT.
It Often Goes Unnoticed
Many organizations believe they do not have to worry about shadow IT. This is because they trust their employees not to bypass the IT department. Sadly, the individuals involved in this vice typically use very stealth techniques so that no one can notice their actions. When this is happening, it is usually an indication that the firm is not aware of the current security posture. Therefore, they have no clue about the types of risks that can hit the organization or even where the sensitive data lays.
There are very high chances that this is happening in your organization without the knowledge of the IT office. Before landing in hot soup, it is best for the IT department to use special discovery tools to curb the menace before it affects an institution negatively.
It is Contagious
It may be possible that employees are not always aware when their superiors ask them to use unauthorized apps for job-related activities. Extensive adoption of shadow IT outside the relevant department can happen in streams simply because of various misunderstandings. Security experts advise that companies need to conduct awareness among the employees. This helps to recognize instances of shadow-related threats to isolate them on time. When your workers understand what to be on the lookout for, you will be notified of the use of IT outside the company policy immediately.
Shadow IT Escalates Attack Fronts
As mentioned earlier, shadow IT can be quite destructive to any business. This is because it expands the surface for attack. Malicious people can use this to access sensitive data from various communication tools and file-sharing as well. Each new application can give a hacker the chance to infiltrate the systems to get their hands on private data and there is no telling what they will do with the details. Other risks associated with shadow IT include:
- Data Residency or Data Sovereignty.
- Licensing Compliance.
- Regulatory Compliance.
It is Not All Destructive
On the flip side, shadow IT is not entirely bad news. Companies can use this one of the ways to meet the evolving business needs effectively. Some investors argue that shadow IT helps to forge tighter alignments between business operations and IT. This is because it can mirror the shortcomings of a firm to point out the areas that require improvement. Shadow IT can also be a driving force in productivity and innovation in cases where compliance and cloud security issues are dealt with.
Whether it is being used for good or bad, a company needs to know if there are any shadow IT activities in their organization. This way, you can use the proper steps to mitigate risks and ensure the company does not suffer.