Risks of shadow IT
Time: 4 minute read
Shadow IT is a term for a decades-old issue that started, occurring when computer technology was becoming inexpensive, available and easy enough to use that departments and individuals didn’t have to go through IT. An example of this would be employees using their home desktop computers, travel notebooks, and mobile devices for work-related activities.
Today, this problem has only gotten worse. Workers use consumer apps and services for messaging, email, file-sharing and remote access. Some employees are even doing “BuildYOA”—according to the third Annual Mobile Business Application survey from Canvas,1 a provider of cloud-based software services, 400 decision-makers from a range of companies said that:
That can add up to a lot of IT hardware, software, services and activity that isn’t under the control of, or even known about, by the IT department. That can be a problem.
Shadow IT activities are understandably tempting approaches for employees. For someone who has been using these unapproved apps on their phone or tablet for years, it may not even occur to them that it might be problematic.
Unfortunately, while convenient for employees, shadow IT can be bad for the company. Data is key to nearly every aspect of your company’s activities. Part of IT’s responsibility is to ensure that data is kept secure from unauthorized access: being misused, changed, deleted, or stolen.
Here’s a quick look at some of the problems that shadow IT can create:
It’s essential that companies not only be aware shadow IT is happening, but also identify where it’s happening and what steps to take to address the problem.