There’s a certain level of risk every time you use information technology such as internet browsing, apps, or programs. No one wants their secure data to be compromised, however, technology offers a lot of benefits that the risks becomes worth it. So you check certain systems, create protocols, update your software, work with a reliable provider of IT services, and monitor the technology that you use at work.
But what about the technology that your employees are using that is not part of your original plan? Ware talking about cloud data storage, Excel macros, collaboration spaces, messaging apps, and even hardware such as smartphone storage, USB drives, as well as personal laptops that you have no control over.
This is referred to as the “shadow IT” and there are countless possible holes that need to be covered.
Even if you don’t mind the dangers of having your data stolen, your accounts hacked, or even your websites vandalized, shadow IT could be inefficient. You have no control over it and that means you have no idea where crucial data is or what work is being accomplished. It will be difficult to avoid duplication of your computer security efforts and much harder to manage the productivity of your employees. So what should you do?
Well, the first thing that comes to mind is to crack down on those that use unauthorized technology when working. The truth is, you can’t stop this. You will just drive your staff to continue using unauthorized tech underground and they won’t be honest with you because they’re afraid of the consequences. So a compromise will happen and you’ll be the last person to know.
What you should do instead is monitor the situation and to improve your cybersecurity. Make it perfectly clear that you support your staff using the tools that they need to do their job as long as they inform you what these tools are. If your people begin using cloud storage apps, then that’s fine. However, you need to explain to them that they need to keep their data secure. Just as you provide them with the tools they need, make sure to help them secure their data.
You most likely can’t create a list of all the shadow IT that’s being used at your office right now but you can monitor them as they develop. Learn about the technology that’s being used and watch the news for compromises such as data breaches.
In some instances, you need to crack down on certain apps, devices, and programs that are being used at work because they’re risky. If you have worked with your staff and you’ve created good communication, then this should not be a problem. Always remember to stop blaming your staff when shadow IT starts to become an issue especially when they bring the problem to your attention. There is nothing wrong about asking your employee to stop using certain devices or programs as long as you are honest with them and you give them good reasons.
Lastly, stay optimistic. Shadow IT may be a bit risky but it also offers opportunities for staff to improve their productivity and try new best tech practices. If they are using a certain type of technology, it’s most likely doing something that your currently approved technology can’t offer. Additionally, they are showing self starter tendencies and attempting to be more effective at their job. And that is something that you should definitely support.
Call SpartanTec, Inc. now and let our team assist you in fortifying your network security and securing your devices against various online threats.