Shadow IT is a term often used to describe information-technology systems and solutions built and used inside organizations without explicit organizational approval. It is also used, along with the terms “Stealth IT” and “Client IT”, to describe solutions specified and deployed by departments other than the IT department.

The main area of concern today is the rapid adoption of cloud-based services. The growth of shadow IT has accelerated with the consumerization of information technology. Users have become comfortable downloading and using apps and services from the cloud to assist them in their work.

With the consumerization of IT, hundreds of these applications are in use in the typical enterprise. The lack of visibility into them represents a security gap. Although some applications are harmless, others include functionality such as file sharing and storage, or collaboration, which can present big risks to an organization and its sensitive data. IT and security departments need to see what applications are being used and what risks they pose

To counter this, IT departments need to have strategic meetings with end-users to address pain points. End-users are circumventing IT administration because they want to get their job done in a certain way and are lacking the proper tools to be productive. Some steps to prevent Shadow IT include but are not limited to:

-Identifying weaknesses within ITs policies and procedures that caused the need for users to go the Shadow IT route in the first place.
-Reestablish relationships with department heads and end-users that like to circumvent IT and try to nail down pain points to be remedied.
-Reinforce that IT is the single gatekeeper for technology within a business infrastructure and solutions and services need to be presented to them before implementation.

Taking a proactive measure will help reduce Shadow IT instances and also mitigate your company’s risk of vulnerabilities. Reach out to us to discuss the best ways to handle Shadow IT within your organization. Don’t wait until it is too late.

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