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Shadow IT taking serious root in two-thirds of organisations

Shadow IT has a dark shadow which is lengthening all the time, by all accounts, and certainly according to the latest piece of research to emerge from Centrify.

Centrify took a snapshot poll at the recent Cloud Expo Europe, and found that 67 per cent of organisations admitted that cloud apps were being used without their IT department’s knowledge or involvement. And obviously that represents some big potential security issues.

40 per cent of those questioned said that between 10 and 20 per cent of cloud services used in the business were being purchased outside of the domain of the IT department.

One in five said that 10 to 20 per cent of cloud apps were implemented without IT staff knowing at all, and half of respondents said it was less than 10 per cent.

As for the time which those questioned spent managing shadow IT apps, 21 per cent said this task took up two to five hours per week, and 42 per cent spent between one and two hours.

Barry Scott, CTO EMEA at Centrify, commented: “The problem is that so much cloud-based software is easily available and requires no IT skills whatsoever to manage, so staff are just downloading the tools they like or that will help in their work, without considering the risks.

“While half of our poll respondents were confident that less than 10 per cent of applications were being implemented without their knowledge, they are likely to be underestimating the extent of shadow IT in their organisation. Without the necessary controls and security policies in place, including passwords and authentication, unauthorised cloud apps are opening up corporate data to the risk of compromise.”

Darren Allan

Darran has over 25 years of experience in digital and magazine publishing as a writer and editor. He's also an author, having co-written a novel published by Little, Brown (Hachette UK). He currently writes news, features and buying guides for TechRadar, and occasionally other Future websites such as T3 or Creative Bloq and he's a copy editor for TechRadar Pro. Darrran has written for a large number of tech and gaming websites/magazines in the past, including Web User and ComputerActive. He has also worked at IDG Media, having been the Editor of PC Games Solutions and the Deputy Editor of PC Home.