The Challenges of Shadow IT

By: Absolute Team | 6/9/2017

Shadow IT is a growing problem, and organizations must find the right balance of policy, processes and supporting technologies to get visibility into the data that's living in the shadow. Here's a look at the challenges -- and how Absolute technology can help solve them...

Growth of shadow IT

IT Business Edge polled a group of security industry leads on their perspective about the risky behaviors that lead to shadow IT. As Phil Richards, CSO of LANDESK, notes that: “the existence and growth of shadow IT are usually a sign that the central IT organization is not meeting the needs of the business.

In an effort to become more productive, more business units and individuals are making their own purchase decisions without the involvement of IT, leading to the presence of data assets outside IT's control.

Whether it’s downloading popular apps, using cloud storage applications or personal accounts, shadow IT remains a major risk because IT lacks visibility and control. If you don’t know where data is, you can't protect it -- and you may not even know that it's been breached.

Compounding other security issues

Shadow IT also worsens other data security problems, including insider threats, malware, phishing, compromised credentials, and cyberattacks. The 2016 Shadow Data Report found that organizations are using 841 cloud apps -- almost all of which lack enterprise-grade security. And shadow use is only aggravating these shaky security foundations.

As Richard Henderson, Absolute’s global security strategist, noted in the article, shadow IT doesn’t just live in productivity apps and cloud storage -- it also lives in social media:

“Popular applications like Twitter, Facebook and Skype are risky applications to add to a user’s device. These three applications alone are responsible for a significant amount of malware and information leakage, albeit almost unintentional.”

Shadow IT is a major crack in data security and one that needs immediate attention. As Richard noted in another recent article, “Attackers are not going to stop probing your infrastructure for cracks for even a moment."

How Absolute helps

Absolute technology helps confront the dangers of shadow IT, detecting at-risk data stored on the endpoint or in cloud storage applications. Absolute Endpoint Data Discovery (EDD), which comes as part of Absolute DDS, scans for sensitive data, reducing your potential blindspots, and offers remote capabilities to wipe data and remediate security threats. Questions? Find out more here.

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