How Risky Behaviors Hurt Shadow IT Security

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Shadowy Cloud Storage Platforms

"Dropbox and other non-sanctioned Enterprise File Synch and Share (EFSS) and cloud storage platforms are one of the most prolific forms of shadow IT in the enterprise," says Vishal Gupta, CEO of Seclore. "These products are attractive to employees due to their ease of use, but lack the data security features necessary for protecting highly sensitive documents."

The problem, Gupta adds, is that once this information is shared, the organization loses the ability to control who can use the files, creating huge security gaps.

Shadow IT is the use of assets that don't fall under the management of the IT department, and, says Phil Richards, CSO of LANDESK, it can be a huge security problem, especially for those companies that don't have a strong IT department to monitor application and device use, or when policies are too restrictive to allow employees to do their work efficiently. "The existence and growth of shadow IT is usually a sign that the central IT organization is not meeting the needs of the business," says Richards. This means too many employees are going rogue to do their work.

This is putting both the network and its data at risk. For example, Symantec's Shadow Data Report analyzed the business readiness of over 15,000 cloud apps and services based on more than 60 security criteria. The result was that only 1 percent of these apps were found secure enough for business use. Many apps and services are already a security risk, but when they are used as shadow IT, the potential threats go unchecked.

 
 
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