[BreachExchange] 5 ways to avoid Shadow IT

Audrey McNeil audrey at riskbasedsecurity.com
Tue Jan 23 19:22:58 EST 2018

ways-to-avoid-shadow-it/What is Shadow IT? It is technology used within an
organisation without explicit approval — it could be aptly termed as the
modern Trojan horse.

Since these technologies are not IT-approved, they have the potential to
allow ransomware and malware to invade an organisation’s network, cause
data leaks, and even introduce compliance risks.

It is critically important to fight back against malware, so here are five
easy ways to avoid Shadow IT.

1. Understand the risks

Part of what makes the threat of Shadow IT so insidious is a common lack of
knowledge about the problem.

More often than not, employees use unsanctioned technology, not for
malicious reasons but rather because they are trying to find an intuitive
solution for common business tasks.

If a company’s existing technology solutions fail to address the needs of
its employees, they will be forced to look to consumer-facing products.

It is integral to prevent that from happening, and the response should be

- Organisations must educate all employees about the risks of Shadow IT,
and there needs to be an enterprise-level solution that offers ease-of-use
as well as advanced cybersecurity protections.
- IT managers and business owners should develop a plan to pinpoint where
employees implement non-IT-approved technology, then develop a strategy for
eradicating the problem.

2. Boost your cybersecurity

It seems like nearly every day there’s a fresh headline about a major
cyber-attack on a corporation or government office.

The most recent local security breach reported was about sensitive
information of 30 million South Africans being stolen from the credit

And, prior to that, more than six million accounts were at risk when the
Ster-Kinekor’s website was hacked.

It is integral for an organisation to have a strategy for security
technology that encompasses the virtualisation of applications, desktops,
and networks, as well as the centralisation of data to avoid exposure to
risk at endpoints.

Additionally, layered security and controlled access to mission-critical
documents should become a priority.

3. Find replacements for Shadow IT

To keep employee productivity levels high, organisations need to be able to
access critical documents from any device, at any time.

The modern business world waits for no one, and client expectations for
timely delivery of services are on the rise.

Bring-your-own-device plans should follow secure-by-design protocols that
allow for flexibility and mobility while ensuring that sensitive business
information remains protected and private.

Utilising enterprise-level file sharing solutions with consumer-grade UI
and UX is one of the best ways to ensure employees remain productive and

When an organisation’s IT-approved solutions are easy to understand and
use, employees will be less likely to turn to Shadow IT.

4. Deploy additional security measures

Modern businesses cannot work in a vacuum. To be most effective, your data
needs to travel – between employees, contractors, executives, and other

However, the more your data moves, the more opportunities there are for
data loss and theft.

In recent years, data loss prevention (DLP) solutions have become more
robust, taking advantage of new technologies such as machine learning,
artificial intelligence, and behaviour analytics.

A scalable DLP suite is a good solution for small to medium businesses
because it can grow with your company.

Information rights management (IRM) is another highly useful tactic IT
managers can rein in data when it goes for a walk.

IRM can apply file-level encryption and authorisation controls, so you can
control who has access to sensitive information.

For instance, documents can be restricted to view-only, view- and
print-only, or fully editable.

5. Develop a preventive strategy

Preventing ransomware and malware attacks is nearly impossible.

Walling off employees within a proxy network and deploying firewalls may
prevent unskilled attackers from successfully breaching an organisation,
but those solutions aren’t enough anymore.

Your business needs to be prepared for the worst.

Investing in responsive strategies is the only way to deal with security
breaches as they happen.

Organisations need to utilise solutions designed to rapidly detect,
identify, and respond to cyber-attacks as they happen.
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.riskbasedsecurity.com/pipermail/breachexchange/attachments/20180123/8ed7e15c/attachment.html>

More information about the BreachExchange mailing list