Ipswitch warns UK businesses Shadow IT holds hidden dangers for network security and regulatory compliance

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Michael Hack, SVP EMEA Operations at Ipswitch, explained, ‘Cloud based apps, including tools like Dropbox, Google Drive and Evernote let workers circumvent the IT and procurement departments entirely. Easy to acquire and deploy, non-technical employees can all too easily select products or configurations that don’t measure up to corporate standards for data protection and encryption. Worse; such users typically won’t realise that using such applications increases the risk of security breaches and data loss that can hurt the company.

To support workplace productivity, rather than hinder it, IT departments should be leveraging software solutions that offer intuitive and seamless user experiences for both workers and IT administrators:

Web accessible features can simplify authentication, access and use and provide familiar interaction features and efficient workflows users have come to expect from their tools.

Menus that are easy to navigate responsive and tailored to user access rights will deliver the customised user experience that works well for workers and IT admins.

Capitalising on the strengths of both technology and end users can prove a winning combination. For example, solutions that present data content in graphically arranged objects – like a map – will support users looking to pick out and recognise visual patterns and identify meaning from complex interactions.

Applications should be fit-for-purpose and support users to be productive. So, if a dynamic system is designed to deliver real time data insights, then data should automatically refresh and be presented via a dashboards, so that users can tell what’s happening at a glance.

Michael Hack concluded, ‘Closing the gap between the disparate experiences of IT administrators and end users will be critical. If users favour a popular consumer app that doesn’t meet enterprise standards for security or compliance, then ideally the IT department should look to provide a reasonable alternative that is intuitive for employees to use. Ensuring the workforce understands the risk of using non-sanctioned cloud apps for work – and the benefits of using apps from the approved list – can help to prevent workers going rogue and working in the cloud beyond the reach or knowledge of IT.’

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