Empowering Employees to Minimize Shadow IT Risks
Empowering Employees to Minimize Shadow IT Risks

We know endpoints pose one of the greatest risks to corporate data security, but it’s often people that put this data at risk. Personal devices and cloud services are used without the governance of IT. Unmonitored app use is rampant, and files are emailed or uploaded to cloud services like Dropbox and Google Drive. Employees are using public WiFi or evading encryption. The list of bad Shadow IT behaviors is long.

In Citizen IT Aids Mobile SecurityGartner contributor Kasey Pancetta writes that employees should be empowered in order to hold them accountable for their mobile use. Instead of  fighting Shadow IT, create an environment that supports employees. There is also an “opportunity to deputize your employees” with citizen IT development policies and frameworks that allow employees to come up with their own solutions.

Why Clamping Down Will Only Make Shadow IT Worse

As we addressed in our own post, clamping down with restrictions will only push employees to find stealthier workarounds. Instead, you can curb the growth of Shadow IT by empowering users with guidelines on device and app use. Gartner’s recommendations are similar:

  • Create an approved and updated toolbox for employees to access
  • Set the standards, with signed HR agreements and mobile policies
  • Create boundaries around sensitive data that shouldn’t be included in citizen IT initiatives

Citizen IT Initiatives Can Help You Manage Your Data

At Absolute, we believe the key to addressing Shadow IT is to move more of it into the spotlight. Start by empowering your employees with more tools to enable their productivity. Then create mobility policies that are clear and relevant. It’s equally important to educate employees about their role in data stewardship. Finally, support the use of endpoint devices with technologies that give IT visibility and control. For Citizen IT, your visibility needs to extend to your data. Do you know where your data is at all times on the endpoint? With oversight, your data will never transferred or stored in a way that could violate your mobile security policies.

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 visibility you need through a reliable two-way connection to your endpoints to monitor, assess and respond to security alerts, regardless of user or location. With the new Endpoint Data Discovery (EDD) feature, standard in Absolute DDS, you can automatically monitor for sensitive data, identify insider threats and respond to security incidents.