The multi-cloud world is a boon for organizations, provided they orchestrate their cloud deployments strategically and carefully.

It is a benchmark for most firms to leverage the cloud for their IT services, applications, or infrastructure. However, the ease of access to cloud-based IT is multiplying the complexities for IT teams.

Many organizations disclosed that they have benefited from the cloud, but there are hundreds of apps used in the organization that are not going through a rigorous review by the IT department. This is referred to as ‘shadow IT,’ which has now become a grave issue, particularly for smaller organizations. Today, firms need to deploy cloud carefully and strategically to avoid increasing the cyber-attack surface or being stung by unnecessary costs and complexity.

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A secure organization should adhere to best practices by whitelisting applications for use. However, whitelisting is a tough job that requires cooperation from the entire team with full visibility into the whole environment.

Even in an environment with whitelisted apps, it is still virtually impossible to lock devices down to curb resources from using a credit card or to download a cloud-based app. frustrations due to  lack of access to the tools they need to finish their job, drive teams to take the path of least resistance, and adopt “shadow IT.”

This is more likely to happen as most employees realize and foresee such an upcoming change. For example, if a business uses Skype for Business for its conference calls, but the client uses Zoom, then employees may need to use Zoom even though it is not an approved platform. It is not unusual to see companies using as many as five different collaboration platforms, although they likely only pay for one or two. This is where the CTO needs to intervene and check on the potential shadowing in the organization. Such supervision needs to come in from the top of the hierarchy, as this is one of the biggest security challenges firms face. These activities need to be dealt with stringently to prevent significant fines in case the shadow practices result in security breaches.

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The go-to-market for Apps today is very rapid. However, many of them are not underpinned by a secure architecture to prevent security breaches and service outages. Today’s developers are producing apps on an industrial scale. When any app is breached or goes down, these developers lack the skillset to get the app back up and running quickly enough to support mission-critical users. When uptime is everything, such situations can create significant problems.

There lies an urgent need for improved governance in organizations. It is time for organizations to take stock of what is being utilized in terms of approved apps and shadow IT. By consolidating the organization’s use of cloud-based apps and services, the businesses are potentially saving significant amounts of money, and mitigating risk.

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