Research has shown that over 76 per cent of Australian and New Zealand employees are using between one to five unapproved applications in their laptops and mobile devices for their work. This phenomenon only shows the prevalence of shadow IT, or IT solutions that employees use without proper approval from their superiors.
This practice, while beneficial for most employees because it gives them the freedom to use their preferred applications for doing their work, can also pose security threats that can put a business in jeopardy. Fortunately, the growing concern with shadow IT can now be abated with the new partnership between Telstra and US cloud security firm Elastica, aiming to provide additional protection among businesses.
The Problem with Shadow IT
In a previous survey, Microsoft Office 365 was found to be the most popular software-as-a-service (SaaS) application not approved for official business use, along with Zoho, LinkedIn and Facebook. A company’s IT department was also seen to be the worst offenders, with 39 per cent of them saying that they use SaaSes in bypassing IT processes. This may not come as a big surprise among businesses, now that consumers everywhere are embracing SaaSes and the same users are bringing their expectations and experiences with these software into the workplace.
The problem is that these SaaSes also pose a great risk to a business’ security. An average of 15 per cent of users have admitted to having experienced a security, access or liability event while using these SaaSes. Not only will a business face security risks with their cloud systems, but they will also have to deal with employees opting to do their own thing and fail to collaborate.
Telstra and Elastica
The growing issue of the prevalence of shadow IT among Australian companies made the new partnership between Elastica and Telstra timelier. The U.S.-based Elastica provides granular monitoring capabilities to organisations, allowing them to have an eagle’s eye view of who’s accessing their data and what they are doing with them.
Now that Australia is experiencing a growing demand for cloud based solutions, particularly among businesses, cloud security is also an absolute must. “For every use of a cloud application, there are millions of events being generated…that becomes a data science problem,” said John Cunningham, Elastica’s APAC managing director.
Telstra will be rolling out Elastica services among its entire customer base, according to John Ieraci, Telstra’s director of security practice, while the service will be made available via the application marketplace for SMBs. With Telstra business plans made available from Telstra dealers like those from TWorld ICT in Melbourne, your company can be assured of the best cloud security that you need.
Telstra targets ‘Shadow IT’ with Elastica team-up, The Australian Business Review, June 23, 2015
Elastica Partners With Telstra To Expand Into Australian Cloud Security Market, Cloud News Daily, June 23, 2015
‘Shadow IT’ bad for business, says McAfee, The Australian Business Review