What is Shadow IT & How to Protect Your Business From It?Proma Nautiyal
Technology makes collaboration easy. When it comes to workplace, collaboration is required more than ever. We need to be on the same page with our colleagues, employees, clients, and vendors. The many collaboration apps in the marketplace makes this happen very easily. You have real-time notifications and documents on the cloud to skim through when you need them. But where does Shadow IT come in, in this scenario?
Have you ever wondered if all the office apps that you are using on your device are authorised and have your organisation’s approval? Many of the apps you might be using might have all the necessary features you might need for collaborating. However, They might not have the level of security enabled to ensure that the data they are holding is completely protected.
For example, you have a confidential file in your work email that you need to review over the weekend. So, you send the file over email to your personal email and download the document using an open software on your phone. This software you had downloaded from the App Store. You found it feature-rich and it also had lots of great reviews. There is absolutely no way you can tell if the app is unsafe or that your confidential document can be accessed by a third-party.
Is Shadow IT dangerous?
The moniker itself might seem intimidating given the presence of the word Shadow. Although, the term mostly refers to software which are not organisation authorised, they might well be dangerous as well. Freeware as such does not comply with the number of security protocols that an organisation specific software might comply with. This compliance issue in itself can create major security breaches impacting data security of the employee and of the organisation as well.
How does Shadow IT make its entry?
Whenever an employee wants to access official documents for their perusal on their personal devices, using third party software which is not authorised by the organisation, Shadow IT makes its quite entry. It could be something as simple as storing your office documents in your personal Dropbox account. That too, is considered Shadow. If by any chance if your device or data happened to be compromised, that would lead the organisation’s confidential data to be out in the open, too.
How can you protect your organisation from Shadow IT?
The concept of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) gave rise to Shadow IT. As employees started using their own devices for work (laptops, phones, and tabs) along with freeware to assist with their collaboration needs, Shadow IT became more prominent.
By handing your employees user friendly, organisation friendly, and secure, software and applications, you can ensure that Shadow IT is kept at bay. Software that is well-encrypted and follow the security protocols of your company ensuring every bit of data is safety transmitted and stored is the way to go. Also, allowing employees to use this software on multiple devices further ensures that they never need to download any third-party software whatsoever.
Where can you find such robust yet seamless collaboration software?
Microsoft’s Office 365 offers your organisation and employees with great collaboration tools and apps that make communication and sharing seamless and thorough. Access files and share them, anytime, anywhere. Apps such as Yammer, SharePoint, One Drive and Skype for Business will help your employees connect and access files and co-create, from remote locations.
When you give your employees what they require, proactively, they will never need to download third-party vendor software which might pose a risk to your organisation’s data security.
Data is the real asset of every company today. Protect it well from the harmful effects of Shadow IT by implementing an organisation-wide collaboration tool, today.
Incorporate Office 365 into your day-to-day business function. Give your employees the power to collaborate and create without a hitch, even from remote locations. Contact us today to learn more about our Office 365 offerings.