Shadow IT is dangerous experts claim

The consumer tech revolution is in full swing, and businesses have to address it if they’re to avoid the risks presented by shadow IT

Workers who use their own consumer-targeted devices and software instead of relying on company-approved solutions risk causing significant problems for their employers, it has been claimed.

Professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) says that companies are more likely to be hit by reputation-damaging data breaches if official in-house policies are ignored. The firm also highlighted an increased risk of compliance failures, with potential for the integrity of customer transactions to be jeopardised too.

Many firms have managed to limit the impact of shadow IT on their operations with the help of stringent management strategies, but with consumer and enterprise technologies getting closer by the day, this task is becoming increasingly difficult.

This growing hazard is exemplified perfectly by the cloud. The technology’s popularity is growing rapidly, and it’s now normal for the average consumer to use it in some way or another on their mobile device – even if they’re not fully aware.

Preventing the risks associated with shadow cloud use is much easier said than done, especially seeing as there are so many services to track. With some employees likely to be using lesser-known providers, it may be the case that CIOs have to manually check data transfers to see what is leaving the business’s solutions and where it’s going.

Most firms will already know that BYOD strategies require constant updating to ensure they’re always relevant and effective, and the rise of the cloud is a great example of a prime update opportunity. The topic should be addressed head on using cloud-specific language, and it’s not enough to just list which services are prohibited – reasons and consequences must also be provided.