What is Shadow IT? In-depth Look into Unsanctioned Apps
SaaS has drastically changed how software is delivered and used. In the past, IT and procurement teams deployed and manually configured all applications. Furthermore, these departments maintained full control, visibility, and security of each software product. In the SaaS era, employees can purchase and subscribe for new software without notifying IT or any other department.
This change, however, brought limited visibility and control over SaaS subscriptions. On average, organizations usually underestimate the amount of SaaS technology they are purchasing. This often leads to duplicate licenses and more importantly to the increasing growth of shadow IT (also known as shadow SaaS).
What Does Shadow IT Do?
Shadow IT refers to any application that utilized across organizations without approval or acknowledgement of IT teams. The increased usage of unauthorized SaaS applications in your company may not seem that dangerous, but it can cause plenty of troubles and challenges. For instance, shadow IT:
• Leads to hacker attacks and leaks of sensitive data
• Causes overspending of company’s software budget
• Increases time consumption while reducing efficiency of IT help desk
• Degrades application performance due to unexpected network bandwidth demands
• Limits app visibility and makes SaaS management almost impossible
• Create vulnerabilities and causes data lose when a user leaves organization
How to Stop Shadow IT Sprawl?
Instead of trying to completely restrict access to applications, companies should keep balance between app usage freedom and control over SaaS environment. Organizations that want to stop the negative effects of shadow IT should consider the following measures to achieve and maintain this balance:
• Review your transaction data. It’s highly important to focus your research efforts to the financial area. Your transaction data might help you to find unsanctioned or unapproved software. Organizations have several places to start their searches, for example, employee expense reports or platforms for specific lines of credit. Keep in mind that your employees could use corporate cards along with their own personal ones. Thus, the more researching and tagging you do, the easier it will be to find shadow IT. By using a SaaS spend management tool, enterprises can instantly receive expense reports and find their unsanctioned spend.
• Approve new apps faster. Employees today don’t wait for IT approval before using a SaaS application. This happens because this application approval process is inconvenient and highly time consuming. Hence, organizations should review new technology faster to minimize any shadow IT risks. A SaaS management platform can provide all necessary data to quickly and easily review new applications.
• Communicate with your employees. Your employees should know about the negative effects of shadow IT. Explain them how and why purchasing or using unsanctioned apps is dangerous for your organization. Show your employees how shadow IT can easily lead to cyber attacks and ask for their help to detect these apps. The key measure here is to let employees know that you want to protect the organization – not to punish their use of unsanctioned apps.
Bring Shadow IT into Light with Binadox
Organizations that are ready to take the next step to completely remove shadow IT sprawl should consider using Binadox. Binadox provides a comprehensive SaaS discovery and management platform that removes all negative effects of shadow IT. This platform provides full visibility into SaaS usage and expenses across the enterprise and individual users.
Binadox helps companies to easily and quickly review their transaction data and approve new technology faster. Beyond that, Binadox includes the advanced solutions that facilitates monitoring and control over your SaaS usage and spend.
For instance, the Binadox Proxy solution enables organization to govern and manage usage of all SaaS apps, even if they are not connected to this platform. This proxy solution takes security action in real time. Binadox will notify about any attempts to violate company policies and if an employee uses prohibited or unrecognized apps.
The proxy agents deliver the most accurate and complete visibility into your SaaS environment. Therefore, the Binadox proxy solution provide organizations with all necessary data to secure their data, optimize expenses, facilitate procurement and automate SaaS management.