What is shadow IT and how should you respond to it?

What is shadow IT and how should you respond to it?

What is shadow IT?

Gartner defines it as “IT devices, software and services outside the ownership or control of IT organizations.”

In other words, shadow IT is technology that employees use without approval, such as downloading a music streaming service to a company laptop or sending a sensitive document through personal email.

But if you ask three random people in business, you’ll probably get a variation on one of the following answers:

Common shadow IT answers

In this article, we’ll look at each of these views and their potential responses.

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Small Business Technology Insight: Cybersecurity

Small Business Technology Insight: Cybersecurity

Security concerns rank No. 2 among the challenges faced by small and midsize businesses, according to our survey.1

Seventy percent of cyberattacks target small businesses, which, on an average, lose around $80,000 per attack, not to mention the lost business opportunities and damaged reputation.

To safeguard your business from hackers and harmful bots, you must have multiple defense mechanisms to ward off attackers from different fronts.

The key challenge for small business owners is tackling cybersecurity with limited budgets and IT expertise, while juggling other pressing business and customer issues that take up the bulk of their time and resources.

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Endpoint security vs. antivirus software: Which does your small business need?

Endpoint security vs. antivirus software: Which does your small business need?

Eighty-six percent of small businesses do not have effective means to mitigate cyber risks. For most, the only precaution in place is antivirus software, despite the fact that 43 percent of cyberattacks target small businesses.

According to Symantec, 35 percent of users have at least one unprotected device—and that figure is expected to increase as more devices are connected to the network with the rapid growth of the internet of things (IoT).

Choosing between endpoint security and antivirus software for protection depends on many factors: the size of your network, the presence of remote workers, business policies such as BYOD (bring your own device), the need for centralized security controls, and the security features you require.

Small businesses that make the wrong choice of security investment—endpoint security versus antivirus software—are leaving themselves open to multiple security risks or will end up wasting a good part of their security budget, or both.

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Small business tech guide for an effective business continuity strategy

Small business tech guide for an effective business continuity strategy

We all know that “oh no” moment when the document you painstakingly perfected for hours—but forgot to save—is suddenly gone because of a power outage. It’s very, very frustrating.

Now, imagine that instead of one document, it’s all your business’s data. You’ve just gone from frustration to complete devastation.

Losing data and not being able to get it back can be disastrous, for individuals as well as for businesses big and small.

Thirty-five percent of companies lose data and access to at least one business-critical app after a natural or man-made disruption.
Forty-two percent of ransomware victims are not fully able to recover their data.
Forty percent of small businesses are forced to close as a result of a disaster.

Yet, despite those statistics, 58 percent of small businesses are not prepared for data loss.
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5 tools to improve network performance and prevent cyberattacks

5 tools to improve network performance and prevent cyberattacks

Small businesses use expensive security cameras and intruder alarms to protect their office assets, but they often overlook protection of their IT networks. That’s because IT managers presume—incorrectly—that anti-virus software is enough.

Symantec notes that hackers are no longer solely reliant on traditional attack tools such as malware. They’re increasingly using operating-system features and cloud services to compromise networks.

Small businesses that do not install additional safeguards such as network monitoring tools to protect their IT environment perimeters will lose revenue and customer trust as a result of inevitable network downtime.

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