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6 tips to help CIOs manage shadow IT

Jennifer Lonoff Schiff | Nov. 14, 2013
IT, mobile and security experts offer advice on how to minimise the risks associated with third-party apps and services as well as with employees using their mobile devices in the workplace.

6. Offer amnesty on Shadow IT. "When identifying the threats of Shadow IT, you have two choices: First, your IT department can identify the traffic to and from third-party cloud solutions that deliver Shadow IT, like Skype, Box and Dropbox," says Orlando Scott-Cowley, Messaging, Security and Compliance Evangelist at Mimecast, which provides email management, compliance and archiving solutions.

"However, this process is time-consuming, inaccurate and blocking entirely is almost impossible," Scott-Cowley says. The better option: "Hold an amnesty on Shadow IT. A no-consequences, 'stand up, own up and be counted' strategy, without fear of retribution works — especially if you give users an opportunity to explain why they needed a third-party app and why your corporate platforms weren't up to the job."

Should You Embrace Shadow IT? 4 Questions to Ask Yourself
Before embracing or restricting shadow IT, Akita IT Services' Boudet suggests CIOs ask themselves the following four questions:

  1. Is there a reason why a particular solution is inappropriate for the company?

  2. If users clearly feel they need a solution for rapid document sharing/online services/hardware, can this be included into the company's IT policy?

  3. Is there a Shadow IT option currently in use in the organization that satisfy's compliance needs?

  4. Can you integrate Shadow IT (certain apps or services or devices) into your IT assets and install the proper security measures around them?


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