312-253-4321    Get SUPPORT

Alchetec Blog

Defining Shadow IT and Its Risks

Defining Shadow IT and Its Risks

IT administrators are pretty particular about what software is used on the networks that they manage. This is not because we have any vested interest in the software itself, it’s because of the inherent reliability of the software they manage. They’ve tested it, they manage it, they know it. When an organization starts dealing with employee-downloaded software--especially if there is no procedure in place to report additions to IT--they can quickly lose control over the network. 

The software that isn’t properly vetted (or even reported most of the time) is called shadow IT. Since it’s the IT administrator’s job to oversee the data security and overall effectiveness of your company’s technology deployments, shadow IT can present them with a bunch of risk.  IT administrators hate risk. Today, we’ll take you through the good and bad of shadow IT.

Shadow IT is Bad

Most of the people that work with a computer have been working with similar technology for a long time. While they aren’t IT experts, they know what software works best for them. That experience will often result in them downloading software that hasn’t been approved by their company’s IT department or outsourced IT service vendor. This software, while useful for the user, may be a major problem for an organization, for several reasons.

The main issue is that any software that is downloaded may come with adware, spyware, malware, vulnerabilities, and other nefarious code that can put a business at risk. Worse yet, that software isn’t known to your IT admin, keeping it from the routine maintenance it needs to keep it from being a vulnerability. If your business carries vulnerable software, it can create a breachable hole in your network. So, while you may not see continuous problems, risk is magnified. 

What are the risks? Here are a few:

  • A lack of security - Without the visibility and control over network-attached resources, IT management becomes much more difficult. If there is a potential that a piece of software can put a hole in your network, you are compromising the network’s security.
  • Problems with performance - If the tool that’s implemented doesn’t mesh with the system it’s installed on, the app’s performance--and thus the user’s--will be compromised.
  • Compliance problems - If your organization needs to meet certain compliance standards, the presence of unmanaged software makes it almost impossible to meet said standards.
  • Data loss - If IT management doesn’t know that a software is on the network, it won’t be covered by organizational backup strategies, meaning work completed using shadow IT apps won’t be backed up.

The minute you understand the risks, it becomes clear why IT admins typically don’t like shadow IT at all.

Can Shadow IT be Good?

Risky behavior can be a major problem for a business. It can also result in significant reward. According to a study conducted in 2019, there is a shift in the way that IT admins are looking at shadow IT. This is mainly the result of organizations looking to improve productivity and to use available capital more effectively. For the detrimental risk that shadow IT can bring a company, there is an opportunity to save time and cut costs.

The study, which included 1,000 IT professionals, showed that a whopping 77 percent believe that embracing shadow IT solutions can help a company innovate quicker than their direct competition. That’s not all.

  • 49 percent said that shadow IT boosts productivity.
  • 45 percent said that shadow IT helps promote employee engagement.
  • 40 percent said that shadow IT helps promote adherence to IT security requirements.
  • 40 percent said that shadow IT would help reduce employee turnover.

Effectively, two-fifths of IT admins said that shadow IT’s detriments could be ignored. That’s not to say that I know any IT administrator that would be totally okay with having unsupported applications on company-owned machines. Not one would deliberately put a gaping hole in their organization’s network to boost productivity. 

What they would promote is the use of shadow IT that is brought onto the network through employee-owned devices. This practice is being shown more leniency now more than ever. After all, IT admins can’t possibly be responsible for every piece of software brought onto the network by employees. They bring laptops, and tablets, and smartphones, and IoT devices, and with all those devices, there are bound to be programs that IT admins typically wouldn’t want on there, but would accept if it kept decision makers happy and productivity high.

If you would like to learn more about shadow IT, what constitutes shadow IT, or have any other software and maintenance questions, call our knowledgeable professionals today at 312-253-4321.

How to Tell When Your Technology Needs Upgrading
Tip of the Week: Simple Practices to Secure Your W...
 

Comments

No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Already Registered? Login Here
Guest
Thursday, April 09 2020

Captcha Image

Subscribe to Our Blog!

Mobile? Grab this Article!

QR-Code dieser Seite

Tag Cloud

Security Tip of the Week Technology Best Practices Productivity Business Computing Cloud Data Network Security Data Backup IT Services Privacy Hosted Solutions Software Malware IT Support Email Hackers Internet Outsourced IT Microsoft Data Recovery Innovation Computer Business Hardware Efficiency Business Continuity Cloud Computing Managed IT Services Productivity Ransomware Mobile Devices Tech Term Backup User Tips Upgrade Managed IT Services Google Phishing Collaboration Small Business Cybersecurity Windows 10 Business Management Communication Workplace Tips VoIP IT Support Smartphones Paperless Office Android Disaster Recovery Data Management Managed Service Office 365 Remote Monitoring Smartphone Server Communications Internet of Things Managed Service Provider Managed IT Mobile Device Network Save Money Passwords Quick Tips Facebook Encryption Social Media BDR Virtualization Help Desk Holiday Wi-Fi Artificial Intelligence Browser Miscellaneous Healthcare Compliance Windows 10 Windows 7 Government Document Management Business Technology BYOD Saving Money Password Vendor Management Risk Management Laptops Windows Applications Microsoft Office Training Employer-Employee Relationship Automation Antivirus Recovery Mobility Going Green Redundancy Processor Maintenance Vulnerability IT Management Scam Analytics Project Management Blockchain Apps Chrome Information Office Infrastructure SaaS Tip of the week Data loss Storage Avoiding Downtime Telephone Systems Unified Threat Management File Sharing Bandwidth Files Wireless Mobile Device Management Meetings OneDrive Money Router Two-factor Authentication Word Regulations Data Storage RMM Politics VPN Machine Learning IoT Access Control Virtual Reality Work/Life Balance Bring Your Own Device Virtual Private Network IT Service Data Security Gadgets Hosted Solution Customer Relationship Management Firewall Computers Robot Company Culture Big Data Users Gmail Software as a Service Computing Website Tablet App Time Management Patch Management Apple Samsung Unified Communications Uninterrupted Power Supply Social Network How To Monitors Proactive Consultation Managed Services Provider Employees Employee-Employer Relationship Network Management File Management Management Smart Technology Search Net Neutrality Chromebook Remote Monitoring and Management Professional Services Server Management Payment Cards HIPAA Settings Twitter Remote Workers Health Flexibility Augmented Reality Networking Social Internet Exlporer Hard Drive Solid State Drive Co-Managed IT Operating System Printing Remote Computing Electronic Medical Records Managed Services Cooperation The Internet of Things Downtime Mobile Security Outlook Digital Payment Upgrades Identity Theft Licensing Monitoring Recycling Customer Service Utility Computing Electronic Health Records Display Assessment Alert How To Consulting Dark Web OneNote Financial Disaster Resistance Virus Remote Work Language eWaste Mobile Data Conferencing Shared resources Technology Tips Options Credit Cards Cyber Monday Mobile Computing Social Engineering Return on Investment Spam Cybercrime Cyberattacks Voice over Internet Protocol Multi-Factor Security Chatbots Cables Test Superfish Data Warehousing Smart Tech PowerPoint Servers User Error Sensors Wearable Technology Enterprise Content Management GPS YouTube Black Market Shadow IT Procurement Proactive IT Computer Repair Crowdsourcing Computing Infrastructure Information Technology Mouse Wireless Internet Holidays Google Maps Notifications Active Directory Cost Management Travel Read Only Hacking Google Calendar Botnet Windows Server 2008 Identity Supercomputer Microsoft Excel Connectivity Content Filtering History Point of Sale Printer Sports Vulnerabilities Tracking Network Congestion Wires Zero-Day Threat Physical Security Outsourcing Security Cameras Touchscreen IT Consulting Value of Managed Services Alerts Enterprise Resource Planning Corporate Profile Humor Instant Messaging Manufacturing Comparison Business Growth Employer/Employee Relationships IT Distributed Denial of Service Modem Windows Server Tech Support Cortana Transportation Trending Legislation Wireless Technology 5G IT Budget End of Support WPA3 Bitcoin IBM Video Conferencing G Suite Cabling E-Commerce Virtual Assistant Websites Telephony Telephone Safety IT Technicians Geography Digital Education Backup and Disaster Recovery Remote Worker Data Breach Hacker Mobile Computer Care WannaCry Office Tips Finance Hard Disk Drives Specifications Automobile Proactive Maintenance Business Telephone Managed IT Service Cookies Google Drive User Management Cache Taxes Hard Disk Drive Bookmarks Emoji Optimization Social Networking Fleet Tracking Tech Terms Current Events Biometric Permissions Star Wars Features Wasting Time Statistics SharePoint Mobile VoIP Mirgation High-Speed Internet Spyware Human Error Firefox IT Solutions Processors ROI Technology Laws Legal Law Enforcement Vendor Staff Authentication Mail Merge USB Database Management IT Assessment Break Fix Nanotechnology Asset Tracking Theft Techology Personal Information Batteries Hotspot Unsupported Software Favorites Teamwork Shortcut Private Cloud Solid State Drives Virtual Machines Black Friday Motherboard Projects Gamification Fraud Disaster 3D Printing Database Bluetooth Downloads Update Cyber security Migration Development MSP Permission Lenovo Software Tips Notes Heating/Cooling Unified Threat Management Gadget Smart Devices Operations Managing Stress WiFi VoIP Dark Data Authorization Address GDPR Digitize Screen Reader Error Domains Administrator Outsource IT Hard Drives Public Cloud Public Speaking Laptop Presentation Lithium-ion battery Cleaning Hacks Motion Sickness Printers Emergency Marketing Budget Students Relocation Hiring/Firing Competition Regulation Sync IP Address Staffing IT Consultant Fun CrashOverride Mobile Device Managment Mobile Office