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.
Today, when companies need to be lean, nimble and brutally efficient to survive in a competitive marketplace, cutting unnecessary costs is paramount. Unfortunately, it can be easy when you’re on a tight budget to accidentally strip away components of your business that may seem gratuitous but are actually essential to your success like network security.
One of the first things that often ends up on the chopping block in the frenzy to save money is IT. Instead of continually investing in managed IT services, where professionals carefully maintain, protect and update your network month to month, some businesses decide that the best way to keep their technology running smoothly is to simply leave it alone, calling up a professional only when something breaks down.
Of course, this approach forgoes monthly costs and shaves off a fair few dollars from your technology budget in the short run. But while this approach may seem cost-effective, it opens up your business to a huge variety of technological crises, from expensive network outages to cyberattacks that may cripple the very future of your company.
The Problem With A ‘Break-Fix’ Strategy
It can be hard to imagine the huge list of problems that might arise within your network. So, it’s an understandable strategy to wait to do something until an issue becomes a serious problem. At that point, they bring in a professional who – charging by the hour – attempts to suss out and repair whatever may be broken.
It seems like a logical approach, but unfortunately, it’s littered with huge hidden costs. If you’re calling an IT support only when something in your network is broken, only your most urgent technological needs are addressed. When your technician is being paid an hourly wage to fix a specific issue, there’s no incentive to be proactive with your system. They won’t recommend important, money-saving upgrades or updates, and they will rarely be able to detect a crisis before it happens.
What’s more, the approach “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” very likely leaves huge holes in your security and drastically magnifies the costs of an IT meltdown. If they’re only arriving in the midst of crisis, there’s hardly ever an opportunity for the break-fix technician to strengthen the barriers between you and the hordes of hackers clamoring for your data. They’re on the clock, being closely monitored to fix the problem and then go away. Meanwhile, the security landscape is constantly changing, with criminals and security experts in a back-and-forth arms race to stay abreast of the latest developments. Without someone managing your system on a regular basis, your protective measures are sure to become woefully out of date and essentially useless against attack.
When you turn your IT needs to a managed IT services Columbia SC provider, you’re entrusting the care of your network to a team of experts who have a real interest in your success. MSP engineers regularly monitor the health of your system, proactively preventing disaster before it enters into the equation and hurts your bottom line. Beyond this preventative care, MSPs do everything they possibly can to maximize the power and efficiency of your equipment, implementing only the best practices and the latest software and updates.
When you invest in an MSP, you may have to invest more funds initially, but likely you’ll save tens of thousands of dollars in the long run by avoiding cyber-attacks, downtime and hourly rates wasted on a technician who doesn’t really care about the future of your business. When you choose an MSP, you’re not just choosing a superior and healthier network – you’re choosing peace of mind.