Big Data Leads To A Turning Point In Shadow IT

A major turning point in shadow IT is occurring, and that's thanks to the power of big data. Here's what to know about how it works.

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January 30, 2020
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Big data is evolving with numerous trends. Lots of factors are driving the future of big data technology. One of the biggest changes is the growing number of devices on the market.

A wider range of devices are making it difficult for companies to analyze big data accurately. This has led to the adoption of Shadow IT technology.

Shadow IT is One of the Most Confusing Trends in Big Data

Shadow IT is a perfectly fitting name. On the one hand, the shadow stands for the fact that not all devices connecting to enterprise networks are IT-approved. This can make it more difficult to analyze data accurately, which can lead to complications with machine learning and AI solutions. These “shadow” devices can be any kind of mobile tech, such as a laptop or tablet. And here’s what the rise of shadow IT means for the evolution of big data.

Things Have Become Murkier

In the past, all machines and applications that were destined to connect to an enterprise network had to be selected and approved by the IT department. The clear benefit to this is that the enterprise can know exactly what endpoints are connected to its networks, and what’s on them. This is no longer the case.

And this is also why shadow IT is such a perfect name. Much like a shadow, the state of how endpoints are connecting to networks is in a somewhat gray area right now. It has become a common practice for employees to use their own devices to connect to enterprise networks. The cloud has also made it much more difficult to track all applications being used on every network-connected device. This new territory requires enterprises to take action to protect their data.

Traditional Methods Can’t Track All Devices

In 2016, the research firm Gartner predicted that a third of successful enterprise-level cyberattacks would happen through shadow IT by 2020. This underscores how pressing this issue has already become for enterprises.

The problem is that the old way of doing IT just isn’t totally compatible with where enterprise operations are today. Without total control over what devices and applications are allowed on the network, the IT team drastically loses its ability to protect against threats. But doing nothing isn’t an option here. Organizations need to have the capability of controlling shadow IT. Implementing a cloud access security broker is one way enterprises can accomplish this.

A cloud access security broker allows organizations to do a few important things. One of the most useful functions is affording enterprises the power to know what apps are being used on networks, by which users, and for what purposes. This can prevent users from introducing vulnerable applications onto the network. Enterprises can also customize what apps they want to have and block ones that shouldn’t be allowed.

Change Is a Good Thing If You’re Ready for It

The issue of shadow IT can be looked at as a double-edged sword. Of course, this provides challenges for enterprises. Shadow IT is making it more demanding than ever before for large-scale businesses and other organizations to manage their network security. But there’s another side to this story.

New operational patterns are one of the major driving forces behind shadow IT. Change is scary for people who work in the security world. New ways of doing things means having to resolve problems in new, often more complex ways. But the opposite of this is true for those who work on the business side of an organization.

When you’re trying to scale up a business, you want to do whatever it takes to get the startup off the ground as fast as possible. This can sometime lead to doing things in ways that break the mold. While this can be really hectic on the IT side of things, it can also lead to massively innovative environments where huge outcomes are accomplished in record times. The key is to find ways to make those rich environments safe in terms of cybersecurity. Enterprises that are looking toward the future and being proactive with adopting cloud network security services can leverage these trends.

Shadow IT clearly presents a big task for enterprises. Confronting this is essential for any organization that wants to operate in today’s world.

Big Data is Evolving to Meet the Needs of Shadow IT

Shadow IT is a confusing trend, which is driven largely by advances in big data. Unfortunately, it is simultaneously making big data tools more difficult to implement. Organizations need to understand the nature of Shadow IT and have controls in place to ensure it doesn’t complicate their big data strategies.