ZD Net posted an interesting article on Hillary Clinton’s latest email woes. Regardless of your opinion of Mrs. Clinton, the article is worth a read.
Shadow IT refers to the practice of employees bypassing company IT department and installing their own IT solutions.
It is worth considering how Shadow IT effects your company. While few employees will go so far as to install their own personal mail server at home, I know any number of companies where company business is conducted via personal email accounts. There are several reasons why this is bad.
In my role as mayor, my email regarding city business is a public record. I make a point of forwarding to a city account any email I get in my personal or business email that pertains to the city. Likewise, I do a copy and paste so that any reply I send out comes from my city account.
Shadow IT isn’t just a public records problem. Some of our clients transmit information via email that needs to be encrypted. That is easy enough to create and police if everyone is using business computers and business email accounts. It is almost impossible to guarantee when some employees are using home computers and personal email accounts.
When you or your employees conduct business via email, that email address should be a company address. Think about it. Who would you trust more: “firstname.lastname@example.org” or “email@example.com”? Both accounts might well belong to the same person, but one is clearly better for business use.
The other part of Shadow IT that you need to consider is the issue of “BYOD” or “Bring Your Own Device”. Personal gear that gets hooked up to your business network creates a massive security issue if those devices aren’t properly protected with anti-malware software and covered under an acceptable use policy.
If an employee gets their laptop compromised while surfing porn at home on the weekend and then brings it to work with them on Monday, the infection may well spread to the rest of the network. More troubling is the employee who works from home via a VPN tunnel and can expose the entire office network to malware without ever leaving their couch. You never see the notebook and may not figure out that your network has been compromised until after the damage has been done.
Gulfcoast Networking is here to help you get your IT requirements organized. We can help you sent up professional looking email addresses for business use. We can help you determine if Shadow IT is an issue in your company and can help you develop policies and take the steps necessary to minimize the odds of your company getting burned down the road.
Give us a call today at 727-847-2424 to schedule an appointment. After hours, feel free to contact us via the web.