Supporting Employees Use of Shadow IT

The use of Shadow IT, applications which are easily procured and installed by employees without approval from or oversight by IT departments, is growing each year: In 2017, Symantec found that the average enterprise organization uses over 1,200 cloud-based apps, up 33% from 2016. The popularity and low cost of cloud based systems that manage social media accounts, store files, and provide data insights means that departments are quick to try out new applications, often without the permission of IT departments. With the number of new business-focused applications being launched each month, it’s clear that cloud-based apps and Shadow IT are here to stay.

Instead of fighting this trend, you must learn how to control the use of Shadow IT by employees. After all, cloud-based applications are not inherently bad. There are many benefits of using these systems, including the ease they bring to remote employees looking to conduct business from anywhere. The risk comes when Shadow IT applications are truly hidden from IT departments, which means data is being unknowingly shared with 3rd party applications, and patching and other security best practices are not adhered to. If this is the case, unpatched systems can quickly lead to exploited vulnerabilities and sensitive data may be put at risk.

To support the use of cloud-based applications by employees, you’ll first need visibility into the applications running within your infrastructure. This requires a cloud native endpoint protection solution that enables you to monitor and update, even your remote endpoints, from a single dashboard. This also allows employees to utilize more 3rd party applications while removing the security risks associated with Shadow IT. By knowing what’s in your network, and being able to manage it, you can more easily enforce security practices - whether this means making sure all employees have certain applications installed, or that employees cannot delay required security updates.

Automox is a modern automated patching solution that uses a cloud-native agent to keep track of endpoints, 3rd party applications, and the current patch status of your workstations and servers across Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. Using Automox, you can remotely deploy required updates without employees needing to manually apply patches. You also maintain control with flexible configuration rules to set updates to occur at non-disruptive times. Automox rules can enforce patch application so that employees can only delay updates a certain number of times, and also manage new software deployments and allow the automated patching process to fit into your company’s existing workflow.

The ability both see and manage employee devices anywhere in the world is a key step in taking Shadow IT out of the shadows and supporting the use of software-as-a-service applications not procured by the IT Department. As long as these applications are properly tracked and updated, the risk of creating security issues is minimized.

Shadow IT isn’t going anywhere, and instead of trying to discourage employees from installing new software, utilize cloud-native services to remotely track and manage employee devices. Automox excels at this by providing simple, flexible control over patch and software deployments, as well as full infrastructure visibility across operating systems. Using Automox’s policy engine, alerts and rules can be set so that IT Departments are immediately aware of newly required updates and can take action as needed.

About Automox

Facing growing threats and a rapidly expanding attack surface, understaffed and alert-fatigued organizations need more efficient ways to eliminate their exposure to vulnerabilities. Automox is a modern cyber hygiene platform that closes the aperture of attack by more than 80% with just half the effort of traditional solutions.

Cloud-native and globally available, Automox enforces OS & third-party patch management, security configurations, and custom scripting across Windows, Mac, and Linux from a single intuitive console. IT and SecOps can quickly gain control and share visibility of on-prem, remote and virtual endpoints without the need to deploy costly infrastructure.

Experience modern, cloud-native patch management today with a 15-day free trial of Automox and start recapturing more than half the time you're currently spending on managing your attack surface. Automox dramatically reduces corporate risk while raising operational efficiency to deliver best-in-class security outcomes, faster and with fewer resources.