From the latest app on our smartphones to the newest gadgets in our homes, many of us love to embrace innovation. After all, these technology advances improve our lives, make us more productive and help us stay connected in ways our parents never could have imagined.
That’s why so many of us use our personal smartphones for work, and jump at the chance to use the latest app or service that makes our jobs easier. And today, if IT doesn’t move as fast as you want, it’s not that hard to bypass the normal process and download that app or sign up for that cloud-based service, and leave IT out of the process. All too often, the most productive, ambitious people buy and use unsanctioned technology – Shadow IT – to speed up their work, boost productivity, or make work easier. But they might not be considering the serious risks that come with their unsanctioned technology that can threaten their career, their privacy, and their organization.
This Shadow IT trend can expose organizations to data exfiltration, malware, phishing; it can open the door for hackers to steal employee and customer identities, steal company secrets, and cause companies to fail compliance audits or violate laws. And since people go out of their way to avoid the IT department, shadow IT is tough to prevent, manage, or control.
So, what can you do about shadow IT? How can organizations give executives and employees the apps and tools they want, on the device they want, without compromising security?
One way to securely provide employees with the apps, data, and services they want is with a unified, secure digital workspace service. And if you give employees compelling apps, data, and services, they will be less likely to buy and use shadow IT, giving IT back control and reducing complexity.
So, what is a unified, secure digital workspace service? How does it work?
Let’s begin with “unified”. Work gets a lot more simple if people can securely sign in once, and then have everything they need to get their work done, all in one digital location. Not only does that eliminate the frustration that comes from logging into multiple SaaS apps, as well as corporate apps and other web services, but it makes the process of using unsanctioned apps and services less appealing. Any time you can simplify the process of working, you’ll score points with employees, and make them happier with the apps and services you give them.
At the same time, a unified workspace service is also much easier for IT and security teams. Admins can manage everything as one unified service, and they can easily add new apps, services, and capabilities to that workspace when executives request them. As a result, IT and security operations can be more agile, and more responsive to both employees and executives.
It’s also important to manage all of the apps and workloads for this unified secure workspace from the cloud, so IT admins can monitor, maintain and manage on-prem and cloud-based workloads, even services from multiple clouds in one location. This model makes it much easier to manage hybrid environments, plus it’s more cost-effective, and your organization can adapt cloud services capacity to meet the operational needs of the business.
Security is a key factor and requirement for any unified workspace service. The virtualization services securely deliver apps and data, and keeps the data off the device. For mobile apps, the enterprise mobility management service provides secure device and app management including keeping data within a powerful, encrypted environment.
In addition, it’s important to provide contextual security that can adapt security and application settings to the employee’s network, device, and, location. For example, an employee visiting a customer in a country deemed a high security risk might be required to use a virtual smart card before access the company network. On the other hand, the employee would not need to use a virtual smart card when accessing the same apps and data when working from the corporate office. The secure digital workspace operates under a model of contextual access to ensure apps and data are protected in all stage of use.
People today expect technology to be simple, convenient, and easy to use. By deploying a unified, secure digital workspace service, organizations can simplify work, allow people to use the devices they prefer, while reducing the desire for shadow IT, and the related risks associated with unsanctioned technology.
Employees, and their managers will be happy, and the business will be safer and more secure.
Author: Calvin Hsu