By Tenable Network Security
More than half of security professionals in UK and German organisations recognise shadow IT as a major problem, according to new research from Tenable Network Security that surveyed 400 IT security decision makers in Germany and the UK across all sectors including healthcare, financial services, government and energy.
In fact, the majority of respondents (88 percent) feel shadow IT makes them more vulnerable to cyberattacks, with 55 percent of UK respondents and 57 percent of German respondents reporting shadow IT has been introduced into their organisations’ environments. And 38 percent of UK respondents and 50 percent of German respondents expect the use of shadow IT in their organisations to increase in the next year.
One of the biggest reasons why shadow IT is on the rise is because more employees are using cloud services and applications such as Dropbox and Gmail without the knowledge of the IT department. Survey data reveal over half (56 percent) of respondents are aware of departments within their organisation that have started their own IT projects without the support of IT.
While these services can help employees to work more efficiently, the presence of unknown or undiscovered assets makes it difficult for security teams to identify and manage the available attack surface, creating gaps in the security posture, and distrust among the IT department.
However, the answer isn’t to restrict access, but to instead embrace the fact that employees will continue to use these popular services, and implement a security program that gives the IT team the visibility needed to identify weaknesses on the network while encouraging innovation.