How Risky Behaviors Hurt Shadow IT Security

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Use of Personal Accounts Leads to Shadow IT

Another shadow IT security risk, Gupta says, is the use of personal accounts. "Workers often use personal accounts to go around IT's back, meaning there are no assurances that established protocols are being implemented. As a result, it isn't uncommon for departing employees to retain access to sensitive data long after leaving an organization."

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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