Shadow IT: What Does It Mean For Your Company?

Aug 13, 2015

Shadow IT: What Does It Mean For Your Company?

BY Chris Brunau

Business Continuity Cybersecurity Ransomware

You may have heard the term Shadow IT lately, but what exactly is it, and what does it mean for your company?

Shadow IT is generally defined as technology in the organization that hasn’t been provided or passed through the company’s IT department.

Shadow IT has risen lately due to the increased use of cloud software, SaaS, and personnel using their own devices. Coupled with the constant influx of new technology, something is bound to fall through the cracks of your IT department.

While the cost and benefits of shadow IT are up for debate, you still need to keep your data safe.

As a recent article in Forbes suggested, it can be seen as a menace, or the best thing to happen to IT, depending on how you see it. It’s important to account for the shadow IT, and ensure any data is protected and backed up. It may be better to embrace shadow IT and work with it, rather than shut it down.

However, it isn’t a magic solution that will come without risks or issues. It further strengthens and emphasizes the need to protect your data, which is possible through Datto’s Hybrid Cloud Technology. Regardless of how your business operates its IT, you can have the advantages of local backup as well as the cloud.

The Hybrid Cloud Technology improves redundancy and guarantees greater protection of systems and data. Your data is protected locally as well as replicated in the cloud.

According to Dark Reading, a main issue surrounding shadow IT is cloud security, based on findings in a new report by the Cloud Security Alliance. According to the report, a mere 8 percent of organizations today believe they have a grasp on the scope of unauthorized cloud purchasing. 

However, shadow IT may present another good reason to outsource your IT. It may prove quite difficult to manage your documented IT, as well as any unsanctioned IT operating inside your company.

If devices or technology are truly in the shadow, there’s no knowing the security or control you may or may not have over your data.

A big responsibility also falls on the adopter of the shadow IT. While many companies may like to promote flexibility and freedom throughout their staff and infrastructure, if the users aren’t responsible, it could prove to be risky.

While the solution may not be to dissolve and crack down on shadow IT all together, information may be your best ally. Informing your employees of the specific rules and guidelines to help them maintain compliance may be the solution.

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