Stealth Cloud is growing. How can you spot and prevent it?

IT and business leaders today are grappling with the ever-increasing use of personal devices and unauthorized apps at the office, often referred to as Stealth or Shadow IT.

This rapidly emerging trend comes as a natural response to employees looking for ways to create and collaborate with the same ease, efficiency and freedom that they do in their everyday lives. While the rise of Stealth IT and the Stealth Cloud can pose numerous security risks, it also offers unique opportunities for businesses to rethink their traditional tools and processes in ways that both support productivity and innovation while minimizing risk.

Two of the most common and noticeable Stealth Cloud activities unfolding in most organizations include:

  • Online/Cloud Storage: With the numerous online or cloud-based storage services like Dropbox and Google Drive, users have quick and easy methods to store files online. They can sync them between computers, access data from anywhere, and even easily install and use on personal devices.
  • Personal Email Accounts: Companies require their employees to conduct business using the corporate email system. However, users frequently use their personal email—Hotmail or Gmail accounts either because they want to attach large files, connect using their personal devices, or because they think the company email is too slow.

What can you do to regain control over your organization’s Cloud strategy?

As an IT leader, you need to move from being viewed as the ‘fixer’ of people’s problems to being viewed as an enabler of success. Yes, there are tools available that allow IT to monitor and enforce policies to try and prevent Stealth IT, but we have found that IT can exert far more positive influence by being responsive to changing user needs.

Look for ways that technology can support your user’s initiatives rather than preventing them from using a service:

  • Get close to your users and understand their pain points. Why did they need to use a personal email account to send that corporate email?
  • Be the thought leader. Find out what your users need, even anticipate demand. Offer to help/enable/support/fund user-driven initiatives. Avoid locking things down, though, as it will make users more determined to get around the system.

We know, we know! Easier said than done, right? Watch our recent webinar to get some real-world tips and tricks for regaining control over your cloud strategy.