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7 Ways Shadow IT Puts Your Network Security in Jeopardy

Updated: May 23

In some businesses, employees are increasingly empowered to adopt their preferred digital tools and applications. While this autonomy fosters innovation and efficiency, it also gives rise to a phenomenon known as "Shadow IT." This refers to the use of unauthorized software or hardware within an organization, often without the knowledge or approval of the IT department. While it may seem innocuous, Shadow IT poses significant risks to network security. Here are seven ways it can jeopardize your organization:





1. Security Blind Spots:

Shadow IT creates unmonitored entry points into your network, making it difficult for security teams to track and protect against potential threats.


2. Data Leakage:

Unauthorized applications may lack the necessary security features, leading to potential data breaches or leaks.


3. Compliance Violations:

Shadow IT often bypasses compliance protocols, leaving your organization vulnerable to legal and regulatory repercussions.


4. Weakened Endpoint Security:

Unapproved applications may lack the latest security updates, exposing endpoints to known vulnerabilities.


5. Increased Attack Surface:

Each unauthorized application expands the potential attack surface, providing cybercriminals with more entry points.


6. Resource Drain:

Unsanctioned applications may consume network bandwidth, leading to decreased overall system performance.


7. Inconsistent Data Governance:

Shadow IT can lead to inconsistent data handling practices, making it challenging to maintain data integrity and privacy.





To mitigate the risks associated with Shadow IT, organizations can implement basic everyday cyber best practices:


Educate Employees: Provide clear guidelines on acceptable software and applications, and educate staff about the risks associated with Shadow IT.


Implement Access Controls: Restrict access to sensitive systems and applications, ensuring that only authorized personnel can install or use software.


Scan for New Assets: Scan you network regularly for new devices and compare against your existing asset inventories. Remove unauthorized devices from the network.


Regular Auditing and Monitoring: Conduct routine audits of network traffic and applications to identify and address unauthorized usage.


Encourage Reporting: Foster a culture of transparency and encourage employees to report any unauthorized software or applications they encounter.


At Better Everyday Cyber, we specialize in helping organizations navigate the complexities of network security. Our team of experts can assess your current security posture, identify vulnerabilities, and implement the appropriate measures to protect your network.


Ready to fortify your network security? Book a free 30-minute consultation with us today. Together, we'll ensure that your organization's digital environment remains secure and resilient.


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