What can be done?
Perhaps most obviously, businesses need to educate employees regarding their company security policies and what is required of them. Adherence to security policies needs to be an intrinsic part of the company and employee culture.
Providing robust IT support is also critical in avoiding shadow IT. If there is an effective line of support available, employees will be far less likely to take matters into their own hands.
Also, IT teams need greater visibility and insight regarding what’s happening on their network, and where. Too often, IT teams simply don’t have any insight when a new application or solution is implemented, which is fraught with risk. There are a number of tools available to help teams identify when inappropriate or unsanctioned platforms are in use. IT teams should review the options and deploy the most relevant for their environment.
In an ideal world, all employees should be provided with modern, up-to-date hardware and software so that they can do their job without requiring any new tools of their own, but this isn’t always possible from a budget perspective. Employees may have very specific preferences regarding the types of devices they use, and the applications they install on them, and not meeting these preferences may impact their ability to work effectively.
Ultimately, tackling shadow IT comes down to the board and senior leadership teams, who need to put feasible and sound policies in place. People are like water and will always find the easiest way around a barrier, so policies need to be flexible and realistic. Once policies are in place, employees need to receive training and education, so they’re fully aware of their rights and responsibilities – especially when working from home.
Talk to the IT Security Experts
If you want to learn more about overcoming the issue of shadow IT in your business, don’t hesitate to get in touch.