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How ‘shadow IT’ is a risk for organisations

New KnowBe4 research, Shadow IT Is Real, reveals that shadow IT is a real risk for organisations with half of employees using unauthorised file services to complete work.

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Tue, 01 Mar 2022
How ‘shadow IT’ is a risk for organisations
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This research report examines the prevalence of two common insecure practices using survey responses from over 435,000 participants across global regions and industries.

The first analysis covers the use of unauthorised cloud services to store information and communicate in the workplace. The second analysis reviews the prevalence of downloading content through unauthorised file sharing networks using work computers.

According to Kai Roer, chief research officer at KnowBe4, the findings from the research are very concerning because employees are exhibiting insecure behaviours that are putting their organisations at significant risk.


“The concept of shadow IT has a direct impact on the level of security culture exhibited at an organisation.

“To combat shadow IT, organisations should focus on strengthening their security culture and increasing employees’ level of security awareness.

It is especially important for employees to understand and take responsibility for how their insecure behaviours can ultimately affect the organisation’s reputation and bottom line,” Roer said.

Highlights from the KnowBe4 research findings include data discussing Asia and Oceania as regions with worryingly high rates of both practices, while Africa is consistently the best performing. Finance and technology-based industries are comparatively performing better than many other industries, while construction, manufacturing, educational and government-based organisations are the poorest performing.

[Related: Security experts warn scammers are pretending to be Ukrainians seeking financial aid online]

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