The shadow hanging over corporate IT networks
Welcome to Cyber Security Today. It’s Friday, August 4th, 2023. I’m Howard Solomon, contributing reporter on cybersecurity for ITWorldCanada.com and TechNewsday.com in the U.S.
I’m off for a few days, so today’s podcast isn’t about the latest cybersecurity news. Instead I want to talk about a shadow that could be hanging over your IT operations. It’s called shadow IT. As a report issued last week by the U.K. National Cyber Security Centre explains, shadow IT is not the same as Bring Your Own Device. When an organization adopts a BYOD policy employees have to allow some sort of corporate control so their laptops, tablets or smartphones can connect to their organization’s IT network — for example, putting an agent on the device to make sure it’s always got the latest patches.
Shadow IT describes employee devices connecting to the network that the IT department knows nothing about.
Despite being forbidden, employees come up with all sorts of reasons to use unapproved devices: The company-owned device doesn’t have enough storage, it blocks them from sharing data with a third party, company-approved software isn’t as fast or as comprehensive as cloud apps … the list goes on.
Actually, the report notes, IT leaders can learn something from employee use of unapproved devices: The approved computers and applications may be not be good enough to let them do their jobs efficiently.
However, employees have to be reminded that shadow IT poses a big risk of data theft to the organization, and therefore its survival.
What to do? The report has a list of useful recommendations. One is, listen to your employees’ complaints.
That’s it for now. But later today the Week in Review will be available. It’s a replay of my interview with the co-author of the Blueprint for Ransomware Defence.
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