‘Shadow IT’ or simply, the unapproved utilization of apps or software by employees without informing the IT department of their particular organization. This has become a headache for security professionals who are striving hard to secure their company’s information. You can’t prepare entire budget and guideline for it because not everyone is working on the same page. Moreover, a lot of individuals think security is not their responsibility. But all this changed with the introduction of GDPR. However, risk to data privacy also increased exponentially! So much so that experts started claiming that it’s posing a threat to GDPR compliance! But how are these two connected anyway!
How Is Shadow IT Linked to GDPR?
Shadow IT is developing pattern whereby representatives either buy IT administrations themselves or utilize their own gadgets while working without the assent or knowledge of the concerned authorities. Well, this invites threats and as the IT department is not aware of these added services or devices, they cannot protect it. This further adds to the risk! The link to GDPR comes into action when shadow IT introduces data which is unknown to the concerned authorities. Well, if the IT department is unaware of these added things, there are fair chances that data controller will also stay unaware! And if data controller is not aware of this, then how is your organization meeting all the obligations of GDPR. Well, let’s assume an example, if an accountant is keeping a backup of the data on his own device, how will you track that and exposure of this may become the reason for hefty fine by authorities for not implementing GDPR!
So, yes! Shadow IT is one of the major factors which is threatening GDPR compliance! Well, we cannot solve or get rid of any problem if we are not aware of it!
What Can be Solution to This?
If the claims by security professionals are to be trusted, then shadow IT is more or less like daily routine in organizations. Abruptly getting rid of it may affect the work of employees. However, we can start by educating the staff. Once they understand the ill-effects of shadow IT, and its ill effects on data privacy, they will also try to avoid it! Talking about the precautions, the security experts have come forward to provide several solutions for this. However, the ones mentioned below are most effective!
Make Sure There’s No Shortage of Resources
The condition of shadow IT arises only when employees do not get enough support from their team. As they need those services or gadgets, they get tempted to use it without telling anyone. But this situation will never arise if the organizations are supporting the employees to the fullest!
Another thing which should be given proper attention is the policies. Many a time, the firms do not have any guiding policy to deal with such scenario. Taking advantage of this, the employees misuse the resources given and eventually put the data security of entire organization to risk. Once there is a strict rule about this, nobody will think of doing otherwise!
In the rarest of the rare case, when it is almost impossible to take out the shadow IT from the system, the concerned authorities should take proper measures to secure them. This will make sure that the devices or services are not leaking any crucial data which may turn out to be disastrous.
We are aware that the solutions mentioned are not easy to implement and not feasible for most of the organizations. But it is better to take precautions and complete implementation of GDPR than submitting hefty amount for being defaulters. What do you think? Do let us know in the comments section below!