What you need to know about shadow IT
Today, moving to the cloud is the cornerstone of a digital transformation strategy. The cloud can enable greater innovation, customer engagement, productivity, and business model transformation. Every organization, strategically, is in different stages on their journey to the cloud.
However, most employees have already taken enterprises into the cloud—whether their organization is ready or not—by using software as a service (SaaS) applications and cloud services at work. This is widespread across enterprises.
This trend, called shadow IT, creates challenges for organizations in IT and application management, security, and compliance. Not knowing what applications your employees are using and where sensitive data might be going introduces tremendous risk into your organization. Traditional network security solutions are simply not designed to protect data in SaaS apps and cannot give IT visibility into how employees are using the cloud.
The extent of shadow IT use is not well known by many enterprises. Some studies show that only 8 percent of companies know the scope of shadow IT at their organizations. Do you know the scope in your organization?
Your company might be tackling this issue head-on, or is just starting to figure out the extent of shadow IT use (or is hesitant to even find out!). No matter where you are on the journey, you know that understanding the extent of shadow IT and managing it, is absolutely critical to the security of your organization.
Regardless of where you are with shadow IT in your organization, read on to learn about steps you should be taking today to help your company manage shadow IT, and its inherent security risks, while empowering employees to work in the ways they want.
Make shadow IT work for you
Better visibility, control, and protection can help you manage shadow IT. In addition, IT must work with employees to establish a SaaS policy that aligns to business goals. Keep an open dialogue with line of business managers that allows them to evaluate SaaS options and aims to provide employees with secure access to a broad range of SaaS apps.
Once you have established a realistic SaaS policy, communicate it broadly to the company and work with business leaders to share these policies with their groups. Help employees understand ways they can protect the organization, and share insights into high-profile data breaches reported in the media to raise awareness among employees of impacts of a security incident.
By following a few simple steps to managing shadow IT, developing a reasonable SaaS policy in partnership with business groups, and educating employees on the risks and the role they play in cybersecurity, you will be on your way to enabling a secure digital transformation in your organization.
Discover how a Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) can help monitor, track, and control app usage cloud-wide from a single control point.