Shadow IT has grown exponentially in recent years with the adoption of cloud-based applications and services.
While shadow IT can improve employee productivity and drive innovation, it can also introduce serious security risks to an organization through data leaks, potential compliance violations, and more.
Why Employees Use Shadow IT
One of the biggest reasons employees engage in shadow IT is simply to work more efficiently. Many employees feel like they need to work around their company's security policies just to get their job done. For example, an employee may discover a better file-sharing application than the one officially permitted. Once they begin using it, use could spread to other members of their department.
The rapid growth of cloud-based consumer applications has also increased the adoption of shadow IT. Long gone are the days of packaged software; common applications like Slack and Dropbox are available at the click of a button. And shadow IT extends beyond work applications to employees’ personal devices such as smart phones or laptops, aka Bring Your Own Device (BYOD).
Shadow IT Security Risks and Challenges
The bottom line is that if IT isn’t aware of an application, they can’t support it or ensure that it’s secure. Industry analyst firm Gartner predicts that by 2020, one-third of successful attacks experienced by enterprises will be on their shadow IT resources. While it’s clear that shadow IT isn’t going away, organizations can minimize risk by educating end users and taking preventative measures to monitor and manage unsanctioned applications.
Shadow IT isn’t all inherently dangerous, but certain features like file sharing/storage and collaboration (e.g., Google Docs) can result in sensitive data leaks. And this risk extends beyond just applications—it is reported that a large percentage of employees send work documents to their personal email to work from home, exposing data to networks that can’t be monitored by IT. Beyond security risks, shadow IT can also waste money if different departments are unknowingly purchasing duplicate solutions.
Gain Visibility and Take Control
Forcepoint know that one of the biggest challenges facing your customers will be getting visibility and insight into shadow IT cloud applications that their users are accessing from work. The good news is that your Forcepoint SWG/Cloud customers are entitled to extensive and fully featured ‘Shadow IT’ reporting within their existing license.
We at Arrow would love the opportunity to show you how your customers can unlock this value and share best practice in interpreting the results so they can make better informed decisions to get control of ‘Shadow IT’. This can be a critical step in the decision-making process to progress to Forcepoint’s Cloud App Control or full CASB modules.
To learn more contact the Arrow ECS Business Development team today at email@example.com or speak with us directly on 01638 659000.