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The Risks and Rewards of Shadow IT

Whether you love it, loathe it, or are unaware of its existence, shadow IT is a huge part of most organizations, and it is not going away. In an article for CIO Dive, Justine Brown shares the cold hard truth about shadow IT.

In Every Nook and Cranny…

In a recent study conducted by Cisco, it was uncovered that companies are using more cloud services than they had assumed. On average, IT departments estimate that their companies utilize 51 cloud services when in actuality they are using closer to 730. All of these excess services are shadow IT, and they were created because value was needed to be delivered more quickly to IT leaders.

This quick value delivery is the silver lining to this risky endeavor. Unfortunately, having shadow IT means there is the risk that the company’s files can be stored anywhere, even on servers that are unsecured and out of the authority of IT. Programs such as Google Drive have made sharing files easy, and dangerous.

Shadow IT can be very harmful to an organization and is one of the predominant causes of insider data threats, according to Rick Orloff, Vice President and Chief Security Officer at Code 42. Brown further states: “There can be significant dangers associated with shadow IT, including poor IT governance, unnecessary exposure to security breaches and significant privacy risks.”

Part of the problem is that many departments outside of IT do not know they are even using shadow IT. Any organization can fall victim to shadow IT, but it is the smaller ones who are more likely to utilize this form of IT. This is because they have fewer restrictions established due to their size.

CIOs should become more vigilant about finding shadow IT use and minimizing it. This can begin with training for those not in IT about how to avoid this trap. Additionally, CIOs can occasionally audit networks, people, and devices. These audits can help for the CIO to understand what the employees need to be effective in their job. This knowledge helps IT to better understand circumstances.

You can read the original article here: http://www.ciodive.com/news/the-risks-and-rewards-of-shadow-it/416459/

About Danielle Koehler

Danielle is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. She has degrees in English and human resource management from Shippensburg University.

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