Shadow IT /sh-A-doE Eye-Tee/
noun: An IT project outside the organization IT department’s domain and often unapproved. A dark area.
verb: A defiant user-level practice to perform IT activities where the organization’s IT department has little or no control.
Shadow IT or Stealth IT
There was a BYOD (bring your own device) craze about a decade ago. The darling of the BYOD craze, Dropbox was on every vendor’s lips and many look-a-likes sprouted like mushrooms. Microsoft OneDrive (previously known as SkyDrive), Google Drive, and of course, Dropbox and many others are still serving a growing customer base, together with many others. But most of them have taken a different, more mature form, a market where Gartner has defined as Enterprise File Sync and Share several years ago. And today, that market is shifting again, and soon to be known as Content Collaboration Platform.
But Shadow IT remains where many users are facing challenges with their IT department. Rigid, archaic, and difficult have forced end users to take matters into their own hands to share files, away from the controls and structures. And those free GBs from those cloud storage providers looked so tempting …
The picture above is someone unlocking a safe. I have literally seen an IT department keeping their files on disks and then keep them in a safe! When they want to share it, they have to run the safe combinations to bring out the disks, and they did it in front of me. It was funny then but the paranoia is real! Some IT departments are really that pain-in-the-a$$.
A business risk
Shadow IT is a risk. Security is often the touted risk, but the issue goes beyond just security. Often, the compromised issue represents a degradation of the company’s brand, image and customer confidence, and could lead to negative reverberation of the company’s business.
Time to regain control and secure file access
EasiShare, a private military-grade, enterprise file sync and share platform is a solution I am exploring. It is similar to the Dropbox concept many are familiar with, but without the security concerns and heavy applications of Dropbox, OneDrive or Google Drive.
Many organizations in Malaysia have expressed concerns about data privacy and security. And this is a great opportunity for Malaysian companies to consider data privacy and security seriously, especially with Shadow IT looming to comprise the control of the IT departments.
Strong features, even better security
A big part of IT is flowing back on-premises. The practice of “cloud repatriation” is gaining ground in the past year where many enterprise workloads are returning to on-premises. A big part of this trend is caused by the fear of data privacy and security being compromise. IT departments wants to regain control and rightly so.
EasiShare is very flexible can be deployed in the public clouds, on-premises and hybrid. The on-premises deployment should be of interest for CIOs, and CISOs who are concerned about their security and data privacy and it is nice to see EasiShare easily deployed in a 3-tier architecture model, something most enterprise IT shops are familiar with.
This on-prem deployment model is for IT to take back control, and enable a private and secure file sharing platform with local or NAS storage. File data is encrypted at rest with AES-256 encryption and SSL for data in flight. The integration of 2-factor authentication (2FA) with OTP (one-time password) enhanced the secure user identity management, especially important for the integration of mobile devices in getting file access in the field.
Digital People Transformation
There has been much talk about Digital Transformation, and every organization competing in this new digital frontier is transforming to create their competitive advantage. But at the heart of this Digital Transformation is the People. Unfortunately it is also the People component which is the weakest link in the secure file sharing, especially in communicating with external parties … and of course, Shadow IT concerns.
The modernization of file sharing involves a workforce that includes both internal and external access. There has to be a new conditioning of how files and folders should be securely shared, and how data is exchanged for the purpose of enhancing business communication.
Strong customer use cases in Singapore
One of the best use cases for EasiShare is counting Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) as a customer. Nothing comes close to the meticulous details about security than MAS, because they are the utmost custodian of financial policies in Singapore. Their methods in exchanging large files with commercial banks in Singapore is powered by EasiShare.
After scrutinizing many secure, enterprise file sharing technology out there, my company Katana Logic, is excited to partner with Inspire-Tech, the proprietor of EasiShare to expand their present in Malaysia.
Let the good times roll.