Did you know that we can expect almost a third of successful IT attacks to be directed at companies’ shadow IT resources in 2020? According to Gartner most organizations significantly underestimate the number of shadow IT applications already in use and a data breach resulting from any individual purchase can result in great financial liabilities for a company.
What is Shadow IT and why does it happen?
Shadow IT (or Under-the-desk IT) refers to when an IT department has lost overview of its employees’ use of cloud applications and the cost associated with it. It is where individuals are steering around IT to gain agility and more productivity in their operations. For instance when employees utilize public cloud services in their own personal accounts, the company can neither manage the cost nor the data.
Here are a few reasons Shadow IT could be happening in your company:
- The wait for internal resources is too long or troublesome – causing frustration among DevOps and other employees.
- The internal environment is too complex and maybe less developed than the public cloud services available. This causes employees to seek other more user-friendly and faster alternatives.
- The internal environment offers no or limited self-service which can become a problem when DevOps need their resources immediately and can not wait.
Shadow IT can therefore easily occur in today’s rapidly evolving business environment if IT departments are not on top of the latest developments in infrastructure management and do not meet the needs of the business. These shortcuts to receive necessary resources raise some serious issues regarding security and control.
Today it is very common that a company’s IT infrastructure is managed through multiple frameworks, application programming interfaces (APIs) and user interfaces (UIs). Infrastructure and its technology offerings are growing at a rate that IT professionals cannot keep up with. This leads to multiple problems that result in underutilization of a company’s IT resources due to lack of overview and increased shadow IT.
How Shadow IT causes security and control issues
- A threat to security controls: when employees move workloads and data to an external provider and accounts formally unassociated with the company.
- Administrative problems: when data governance and compliance rules are broken and it becomes an administrative nightmare to control security and prevent unwanted information leakage or compromising sensitive data.
- Data Loss: the problem accelerates when employees are using their personal accounts with cloud service providers, making it potentially impossible for companies to retrieve sensitive information if the employee leaves the company.
- Direct cost gets out of control: direct costs associated with shadow IT only expose a part of the real problem and it’s enormous scale. The main problem and associated hidden costs are due to security vulnerabilities caused by unmanaged shadow IT activities. This should be enough to send chills down the spine of any IT responsible security manager.
How can we minimize the effect of Shadow IT?
One of the best solutions to avoid the high cost and problems of Shadow IT is to implement a Hybrid Cloud Strategy and deploy a hybrid cloud platform that consolidates the IT infrastructure. A well-executed hybrid cloud strategy gives businesses the ability to leverage both bare metal servers, private and public clouds and scale out at a moment’s notice when needed. While DevOps receive access to the resources they need when they need through a comprehensive self-service portal.
With a hybrid cloud platform companies can control their infrastructure from a single pane of glass that allows system admins to:
- schedule and control user access and privileges across clouds,
- set quotas,
- choose where the data should reside and
- monitor and manage all of their environments.
This enables companies to have a much more focused approach towards their workloads and data dispersions as well as to follow the company’s data governance policy more easily. This strategy also allows enterprises to gain a comprehensive overview of how their workloads and data is being managed.
Qstack – the Ideal Solution to reduce Shadow IT
The ideal solution to reduce shadow IT
Qstack is the perfect solution to handle shadow IT. A comprehensive cloud and infrastructure management platform that offers it’s users a comprehensive overview and management of its entire infrastructure, bare metal, private cloud and public cloud resources, all from a single pane of glass. Effectively diminishing shadow IT and solving the fragmentation problem as well as the lack of overview.
Qstack also features a secure key management. All public cloud keys in Qstack are encrypted by default so users are unable to take the keys with them, for example upon departure from the business.
Qstack is fully compatible with industry leading public cloud services, including AWS, Azure and other Qstack environments. With Qstack, enterprises are therefore capable of minimizing security risks and undesirable shadow IT consequences by implementing their hybrid cloud strategies via a homogeneous and hybrid native cloud management platform.
Read more about Hybrid Cloud options with Qstack here and contact us here today for a Hybrid Cloud Strategy.