How do you manage Shadow IT?

Managing shadow ITWith the era of easily shareable apps and cheaper(er) devices in full swing, Shadow IT has emerged as a growing priority to manage for IT organizations. And it’s with good reason—when technology is being used behind your back, it’s tough to know if your business is as secure and compliant as it should be. What can you do to minimize the risk?

Here are five ways to handle shadow IT in your business.

  1. Stay on top of what’s going on: No matter what devices an organization uses, IT must know where the data lives and how it’s being used. When you know where your data lives, it’s much easier to keep track of any new devices entering the field and how they are being managed. One way of doing such monitoring is with vulnerability scanning (link to OT page). Daily log review (link to OT page again) is another way to manage your network (is it?)
  2. Meet with Lines of Business (LOB) regularly: One of the biggest reasons for shadow IT is because the internal structure is too cumbersome to deal with. It’s time to change that. When you are alerted to Shadow IT, respond proactively. Why didn’t that LOB come to you? How can you improve the processes around new devices and software? Working directly with other departments can help everyone be more communicative and efficient, and it reduces the risk of security and compliance breaches.
  3. Implement technology better: Once you’ve identified the problems in your IT process, it’s time to change them! LOBs will not want to come to you if you listen to what they need but still have slow and outdated implementation processes. Changing how you operate by becoming more agile is a must if you want to stay on top of shadow IT.
  4. Manage guidelines around devices and applications: Establishing clear rules will help departments understand better what they can and can’t do. To follow up on that, it is helpful if IT also puts into place a process that can quickly approve or disapprove new technology/software sought by LOBs.
  5. Forgiveness is key: Shadow IT happens, and chances are you won’t be able to catch every user who bypasses standard-issued platforms. However, allowing users to explain why they did so without fear of punishment could lead to better communication overall.

Shadow IT is seen as a threat in many organizations because of the security and compliance risks it poses. However, with network monitoring, better communication between IT and LOBs as well as faster and smoother processes surrounding implementation and approval, it can managed. In fact, if you’re the best choice for the consumer (your colleagues), then they have no reason to use anyone else.

 

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