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How to Manage Shadow IT Resources

By May 12, 2020No Comments6 min read
Manage Shadow IT Resources

If you have employees in your company, then you also need to deal with shadow IT. More than 40% of employees have admitted to using unauthorized devices and apps at work. Thus, shadow IT has become the biggest reason for security breaches in 2020. Most companies don’t even know about the concept of shadow IT. Shadow IT comes with its own operational, integration, and security challenges. You can’t create very strict policies for handling shadow IT. This might demotivate your workforce. However, you can’t also ignore the risk of shadow IT. It can become a threat to your enterprise systems. Companies should work on creating an effective plan that will help them in dealing with shadow IT. In this article, we are going to talk about how to manage these shadow IT resources.

Definition of Shadow IT:

Shadow IT is any technology that is deployed in your organization without any background check. Your IT department has not checked this technology. Thus, they don’t know about these applications. Your employees might be using these applications for completing their work.

Most employees use these applications with good intentions. They want to do their work more effectively. There are hundreds of amazing productivity applications available in the market. Thus, your employees might be using them for increasing their productivity. It is difficult to get official IT approval. Thus, employees directly start using their applications. We are going to share some tips that will help you in managing these Shadow IT resources.

  1. Monitor your enterprise network

It is important to regularly monitor your enterprise network. This will help you in finding all the devices that are connected with your network. You can find both personal and company-issued devices in your network. First, you should check for new and unknown devices in your network. This will simplify the procedure of identifying shadow IT. It is also a good idea to process the log data of your SIEMS and MDM products. You can also use your firewall for monitoring your cloud services. If someone is using an application that is not approved, then you will easily find it. This will help you in removing unapproved applications from your network.

  1. Simplify the approval process

Most companies have strict approval procedures. It is very difficult to request products from your IT department. Thus, employees might go rogue and download these applications in their system. You can resolve this by simplifying the approval process. If your IT department is quickly approving the applications, then your employees won’t use shadow IT. You should create a ticketing system for resolving this issue. Your employees can check their tickets for updates. If some applications are harmful, then your IT department can decline the request.

  1. Train your employees

Most employees don’t know the risks of using unapproved software. Thus, they might download some random software from the internet. They want to increase their productivity by using these tools. However, these tools can also steal data from your network. Thus, it is important to train your employees about cyber attacks. They should know the dangers of using unapproved applications. These applications might ultimately lead to a data breach. If your employees know about these vulnerabilities, then they will not use unapproved applications. They will first ask for permission from the IT department. Thus, it is important to educate your employees about basic security terms.

  1. Check your cloud network

Your employees might be using cloud applications and services for completing their work. Thus, you need to check your cloud also. CASBs or Cloud Access Security Brokers will help you in detecting cloud services in your network. If your employees are using unapproved cloud services, then your CASB will show you a warning. Thus, you can easily find Shadow IT in your cloud network. They will help you in checking the devices that are connected with your network. You can also check the list of people that has access to important information. Thus, you will have better control over your cloud network.

  1. Establish clear guidelines about BYOD and applications

Your IT department should work on creating a list of approved applications. They should update this list regularly. Your IT team can also add banned applications in this list. Make sure that your employees know about these banned applications. Thus, they will not use these banned applications. You can also establish clear guidelines about third-party applications. This will help business units in making their own purchase decisions. They can find applications that will not cause any security or compatibility issues. Your IT department should use these guidelines for approving and disapproving new applications. Thus, this will reduce their burden. They can directly refer to these guidelines for checking new applications.

  1. Monitor your employee’s activity

You can use user activity monitoring tools for monitoring your employees. This is the best method to gather information about the web resources, applications, and software your employees are using. This will help you in finding the unapproved IT solutions that your employees are using. Also, it will help you in figuring out why they are using these applications. You can provide them with a better alternative solution. There are many threat detection tools available in the market. These tools are perfect for both large and small companies. These tools will provide you information about your employee’s activity. You can also use it for monitoring your remote worker’s activities.


Shadow IT is becoming a very risk for every company. However, it will only occur if you have an inefficient IT strategy. You should try to understand the needs of your users. If your employees want access to more effective tools, then you should arrange new tools. This will help you in eliminating shadow IT from your network. Most employees are using shadow IT for increasing their productivity. Thus, you can find more effective tools for your employees. This will also help you in increasing your employee’s productivity. You can also create a smart corporate policy at the same time. It is important to consider both third-party applications and personal devices while creating this policy. If you need more information regarding Shadow IT, then you can contact Bleuwire.

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