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What Are the Risks and How Can I Minimise Them?

To fully understand the risks, you must know where shadow IT is hiding and the extent of the problem. Often employees won’t even know they are using unauthorized tools, meaning they are practicing shadow IT. It is important to understand where the gaps are within your authorized tools which means your teams are turning to unauthorized solutions.

Often there needs to be a cultural change, instead of your teams always feeling like IT is standing in the way of them doing their jobs efficiently. Talk to them about what they need, and encourage them to recommend improvement opportunities or recommend services that are then evaluated.

Make shadow IT unnecessary, provide the right tools by listening to your teams.

In most cases your teams are not practicing shadow IT maliciously, they are simply trying to do their jobs better, so educating them on the risks and having company policies in place that they understand will minimize the risk shadow IT places on your organization.

Some simple steps to follow: 

  1. Review what’s going on
  2. Evaluate and prioritize risk
  3. Lockdown
  4. Create policies
  5. Educate staff and monitor

You should always be monitoring and evaluating what’s going on in your network. People forget what they’re told, and the odd employee does go rogue.

Following these steps will go a long way to reducing the risk of shadow IT but it will not eradicate the risk. You must also have IT monitoring tools in place. 

While Shadow IT can create all sorts of problems, it is not the underlying problem. Shadow IT is a symptom that occurs when users aren’t satisfied with the existing IT solutions. If your company is fighting Shadow IT, don’t try to fight it head-on. You must first identify the root of the problem. Why do users feel like they have to bypass IT in the first place? Only then can you hope to address the issue.