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In reference to an article published by TechRepublic (February 7th 2020), eBusiness Systems looks into Shadow IT and how can be hazardous to an organisations’ IT systems. In any organisation, IT personnel put in a lot of effort in ensuring that internal accounts, passwords, logins and systems are as secure as possible. More often times than not however, employees of an organisation tend to open external accounts on organisation systems without the knowledge of the IT personnel, which in turn, poses a threat to that same internal system. This is called Shadow IT.  

Shadow IT may seem harmless to employees, however, unbeknown to them, they may in fact, create vulnerabilities in the strongest security set-ups. According to a recent survey conducted by 1Password, whereby they surveyed 2,119 US adults who work in an office environment with an existing IT department and use a computer for work purposes, an alarming 63.5% admitted to creating an external account with the IT department’s knowledge.

What is alarming from the survey as well however, is that out of those who have created shadow IT accounts, 33.2% of them admitted to reusing memorable passwords, and 48.2% use a pattern of similar passwords.

The issue, as explained excellently by 1Password is when for instance, someone from the legal department has a Grammarly account to spell-check important legal documents with client information. By doing so, they are unwittingly sharing vital information to third parties. The issue arises when one of these services experiences a data breach, unbeknown to the organisation in question. This in turn, also means that the organisation in question wouldn’t be able to disclose the information to their clients, opening the possibility of huge fines and a loss of credibility.

Another issue arises also, on how information is shared. The survey conducted showed that out of those individuals who created external accounts, 39.7% of them shared their passwords through email, with another 16.9% sharing their passwords through instant messaging.

eBusiness Systems has always advocated for safer IT security measures. Through their dedicated IT support team, eBusiness Systems has helped organisations in varying industries tighten their internal systems and safeguard vital company data. Contact eBusiness Systems today to learn more on how we can help you better maintain and safeguard company internal IT systems.