Managing Shadow IT
The key to reducing Shadow IT is visibility. Over the years, organisations have tried many methods to control unsanctioned technology, but ensuring that all assets have been accurately reported has been increasingly complex. Evidence shows that the more people work from home, the more comfortable they get with using unapproved technology to get their job done.
Build a comprehensive policy When employees incorporate new technologies bypassing IT protocols, they’re not actively trying to create risk; they want to get their work done or test a new tool. Sometimes they don’t realise even the seemingly minor installations need to be run through IT; other times, they’re in a hurry. Document a company-wide policy that’s not perceived as restrictive but protective of the network, and make sure everyone understands that incorporating new apps isn’t necessarily detrimental to the organisation, but it must be addressed appropriately.
Discover Shadow IT Assets Leverage purpose-fit solutions and capabilities to discover hidden assets and cloud instances in your network as part of routine security reviews and align them with your corporate security policies. This can include automated continuous monitoring, network discovery, and risk assessments to identify areas of concentrated risk and gaps in cloud security controls, such as misconfigurations, vulnerabilities, and unpatched systems.
Empower employees with the right tools Ask employees what they need regularly to do their job - what tools they need for communication, productivity, file-sharing, or help desk apps and incorporate them into your application stack. This will make it easier to roadmap your digital workflows and integrate different technologies to deliver maximum productivity while keeping your 360° visibility.
Leverage security basics Complement your Shadow IT policy with essential security measures, such as VPNs, MFA, antivirus, encryption, backup, patch management, user management with the least-privilege principle, etc. In particular, adopting a zero trust security model, where each user is verified before they connect to the network, ensures they can only access data, networks, and applications for which they have a business need.
Educate your workforce As remote work expands the attack surface, make sure you include Shadow IT in your cybersecurity training to educate employees about the potential danger of their decisions. Share specific recommendations and best practices, and make them aware that they need to be extended beyond the corporate network and into their homes.