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  • John Harden

Shadow IT: Why Hackers Love It And Your Customers Are At Risk

Did you know that the average small business is using nearly 136 business applications as of our latest study across multiple industries? According to HIPAA Journal, the largest security risk to compliance is the human one. Visibility into what your business is using is no longer an option of “should I,” or “shouldn’t I.”

It’s a matter of how soon can I?

Every piece of Shadow IT is essentially a virtual back door into your client’s data. Sometimes it can be as serious as stolen code accidentally stored in Dropbox. In our article about how Shadow IT can impact your MSP, we talk about how not managing this problem can put your MSP at serious risk.

The main offenders of Shadow IT?

  1. File Sharing Software: Nearly every business is susceptible to this type of Shadow IT. Common offenders are,, and Google Drive. This means your precious business data is out there with absolutely no visibility into where it has gone.

  2. Productivity Tools: Employees looking to do their job more efficiently will sign up for these SaaS solutions. Before long the organization could have 10-20 silod applications with solo adopters.

  3. Communication Systems: Ever gone to look for that message you were sent but couldn’t find it? That’s because communication software is the third-worst offender when it comes to shadow IT.

  4. Third-Party Company Software: This one is often missed, but employees are now using third-party vendor software to do their job. Ever been asked to upload a document in Citrix? Ever signed a Docusign document? If you have, then your data is now in these systems.

The Risk of the Unmanageable

Businesses have now reached a point where they cannot keep up with the tools employees are using. Because of this, businesses can no longer maintain their business application stack. With no data-driven software-asset-management tool, businesses are simply guessing. It should never be a guessing game when off-boarding an employee or handling your business’s compliance. 

Statistics have shown that as much as 65% of all cloud applications used in a business are Shadow IT, and 90% of businesses use at least one unsanctioned critical-risk cloud application. This means that your customers’ cybersecurity posture is at risk. Why? Because they don’t know what they don’t know!

Where is your data?

According to Statista, it’s estimated that over 50% of corporate data traffic is in cloud applications. This means that there is a greater need than ever before for every employee within a business to understand the importance of data protection and why shadow IT can be so dangerous to an organization’s security posture. 

With so much essential business data in the cloud, the question you have to ask, is do you have visibility into where it all is? Have you reviewed your employee’s software adoption in the past 12-month? Was it manual or powered by a security tool?

Shadow IT High Risk

Shadow IT is a serious threat to you and your customer’s security posture but it can be managed.

Think your customers don’t have any Shadow IT? Think again. The first step is to absolutely acknowledge that Shadow IT exists. It is a challenging problem; so why not start with some concrete steps you can take to alleviate the situation and improve your customer’s security posture?

Saaslio has designed a solution that will automatically give you direct insight into all the software your customers are using. With automated workflows & insights, your vCIO or Technical Account Manager can wrangle this problem.


Ready to wrangle your clients' SaaS stacks?

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