Many organizations deal with an unseen threat called ‘Shadow IT’. Today, the Shadow IT penetration in organizations is unpredictably high. Mostly created by end-users unintentionally, Shadow IT grows rapidly in modern workplaces, due to the proliferation of SaaS, cheap data, and high-speed networks coupled with the option to pay month over month. The size and scope of this are often underestimated by business leaders leading to high operational costs, duplication of services, data sprawl and IT nightmares which we will explore below in detail.
What is Shadow IT?
The urge to get things done easily and efficiently propels end-users to download unapproved SaaS apps without proper vetting and approval process. As a result, collaboration platforms when left ungoverned and unmanaged encounter serious security issues such as data privacy, compliance and security risks, etc.
Apps used for storage, file sharing, external collaborating, forwarding mails, exporting reports and more are potentially the key sources of data leaks and breaches. It is easier for hackers to gain access to corporate data through unsanctioned apps that are not managed or secured by IT policies. Moreover, users tend to use their work credentials for various third-party cloud-based apps. This once again, opens the door for hackers to access corporate network automatically and steal confidential data without being detected.
How to protect business from the risks of Shadow IT
Studies reveal that organizations suffer a loss of approximately $1.7 trillion per year owing to security breaches caused by Shadow IT. To mitigate the risks, there are a few ways that can help to insulate your business from Shadow IT:
- Track all the unauthorized apps or services your employees use regularly. Also, scan your network traffic to determine unauthorized software and systems that use your network. To learn how to discover and manage Shadow IT in your network, please click here.
- Establish internal policies and procedures to educate employees about the dangers of shadow IT and how it impacts enterprise performance.
- Address the needs of your employees and give them an effective solution to get productive in a secure way.
- Give your employees an efficient tool to collaborate with an idea of self-service to allow freedom and control, both, where IT must still be able to control data and access.
- A tool like Microsoft’s Cloud App Security can help build firm policies around data sharing and provides reporting and auditing capabilities to determine how users credentials are used.
- Create a workflow to block unsanctioned apps.
- Hardware used by employees should be tagged and traceable.
- Deploy a third-party tool for active monitoring of Shadow IT areas.
Can Microsoft Teams prevent Shadow IT?
Since Microsoft Teams is a productivity enhancement tool, it faces common challenges of managing content across wide collaboration workspace. A rigorous production and exchange of unstructured and fragmented data both inside and outside the organization makes it harder for IT specialists to locate and secure content in MS Teams. Next, Microsoft Teams promotes a flexible workspace where end-users can install several useful third-party tools for greater convenience and end-user experience.
Shadow IT is inevitable. Hence, to counteract the risks associated with Shadow IT applications, you need to focus on given pointers:
- You must have a robust governance strategy in place.
- Leverage the power of automation to address the issue at scale.
- Secure your data and assets using pro-active techniques
Implementing end-to-end governance across your MS Teams platform makes it sturdy and rigid against any looming threat such as Shadow IT. With governance, you can easily define which sort of data and applications can be accessed by whom, what permission levels guests will have, who can create teams, and so on.
Governance ensures that users learn, create, and innovate in a tamed Teams environment without fear. By configuring policies and protection settings, you can allow your employees personalize their environment in a secured way for an enhanced experience.
Why should you use TeamsHub by Cyclotron?
TeamsHub by Cyclotron is an automation software designed to simplify Teams and M365 governance and streamline business processes. TeamsHub by Cyclotron builds a hedge of protection around your collaboration environment while boosting adoption. This way, you can release an unnecessary burden from your IT teams, regulate groups and channels smartly to enable faster collaboration and empower your workforce to achieve more.
Some of the best solutions that TeamsHub by Cyclotron provides to protect the work your employees do across their favorite applications are –
- Secure file sharing and external collaboration -> This feature actively tracks your documents shared. Also, you can revoke the access to your documents anytime.
- Labeling and protection of sensitive content -> This helps you to classify your content and use sensitivity labels to enforce protection settings on labelled content.
- Self-service to create teams using dynamic forms -> This controls teams sprawl and improves data visibility in terms of how that data is created, stored, and transferred.
- Lifecycle management of teams -> This allows you to keep active teams and sites in your ecosystem while archive or delete the ones that are inactive or outdated.
- Proper naming and classification of teams, sites, and groups -> This allows you to tag, classify and search workloads and then create filtered hubs.
- Smart insights into user activities -> This helps to identify workload trends, performance, usage and more in your organization for making informed business decisions.
Shadow IT is a favourable area for cyberattacks and a vector for malware. Because of Shadow IT, corporate data unfurls all across the internet. Hence, businesses need a scalable solution that can meet their corporate security standards and deliver a work environment that accelerates employee engagement to reap benefits.
With this regard, TeamsHub by Cyclotron offers you the best cloud governance to shield your M365 infrastructure and create effective opportunities of growth and innovation. TeamsHub by Cyclotron automates workflows and significantly maximizes efficiency to improve bottom-line.