Managing shadow ITWith the era of easily shareable apps and cheap(er) devices in full swing, Shadow IT has emerged as a growing priority to manage for IT organizations. And it’s with good reason—when technology is being used behind your back, it’s tough to know if your business is as secure and compliant as it should be. What can you do to minimize the risk?

Here are five ways to manage Shadow IT in your business

  1. Stay on top of what’s going on: No matter what devices an organization uses, IT must know where the data lives and how it’s being used. When you know where your data lives, it’s much easier to keep track of any new devices entering the field and how they are being managed. One way of doing such monitoring is with vulnerability scanning. Another way to manage your network is with daily log review.
  2. Meet with Lines of Business (LOB) regularly: One of the biggest reasons for Shadow IT is because the internal structure is too cumbersome to deal with. It’s time to change that. Respond proactively when you see Shadow IT. Why didn’t that LOB come to you? How can you improve the processes around new devices and software? Working directly with other departments can help everyone be more communicative and efficient, and it reduces the risk of security and compliance breaches when everyone’s on the same page.
  3. Implement technology better: Once you’ve identified the problems in your IT process, it’s time to change them! LOBs will not ask you for help if you listen to what they need but are still slow to respond. Changing how you operate by becoming more agile is a must if you want to stay on top of shadow IT.
  4. Manage guidelines around devices and applications: Establish clear rules to help departments understand better what they can and can’t do. To follow up on that, it is helpful if IT also puts into place a process that can quickly approve or disapprove new technology/software sought by LOBs.
  5. Forgiveness is key: Shadow IT happens, and chances are you won’t be able to catch every user who bypasses standard-issued platforms. However, giving users a chance to explain why they did so without fear of punishment can lead to better cooperation and communication between LOBs and IT.

Shadow IT is seen as a threat in many organizations because of the security and compliance risks it poses. However, with network monitoring, better communication between IT and LOBs as well as faster and smoother processes surrounding implementation and approval, it can managed. In fact, if you’re the best choice for the consumer (your colleagues), then they have no reason to use anyone else.