Technology that is used without the knowledge or oversight of IT is one of the top threats to data security. In fact, Gartner predicts that within the next 4 years, one third of successful attacks on enterprises will be on Shadow IT resources. It follows then that Shadow IT, by its purest definition, creates enormous risks for businesses. But we also know that clamping down on Shadow IT with draconian IT restrictions can often exacerbate the issue.

James Valentine, CTO of Fronde, recently wrote an insightful article on the importance of taking advantage of Shadow IT. It’s an interesting shift. In the past year, the conversation has shifted from “beware Shadow IT” to “embrace Shadow IT.” In the end, it’s important to do both.

The Road to Data Risk is Paved with Good Intentions

On the flip side, the motives behind Shadow IT are not bad. The real push behind Shadow IT has always been productivity. Employees find apps and technologies that enable them to work smarter and be more responsive within their teams and with customers.

“The shadow IT mindset encourages IT professionals to be more agile and responsive to the business and customer’s needs,” notes Valentine.

The Shadow IT mentality is one that seeks out the best solutions, whether those are  tools, processes or capabilities.

So, the balance becomes how to enable the mindset of Shadow IT, one which is always seeking new ways to be successful, while maintaining security. Innovation and security don’t need to be at odds. In fact, there are many tactics you can employ to move empower your employees and bring Shadow IT into the spotlight.

Educate employees about their role in data stewardship and support the use of personal endpoint devices with technologies that give you visibility and control. Don’t get in the way of new technology, and instead find a way to increase your visibility over it without impacting employee productivity.

Visibility is your key to reducing the risk from Shadow IT. That’s what we do here at Absolute. We shine a light on Shadow IT, giving you the oversight you need through a reliable two-way connection to your endpoints. Our visibility extends right down to the data held on your endpoints, even if that data is stored in the cloud. So, keep the Shadow IT mindset, but bring your data back under your visibility and control. We can help you do that. Learn more at