The Ultimate Shadow IT Quiz: How Secure is Your Data?

Shadow IT is a major problem for businesses. According to one IDC study, an estimated 95 percent of businesses have an IT infrastructure that is made up of “multiple private and public clouds […]” acquired outside of IT purview.

This risky practice—known as shadow IT—can create more challenges for IT to manage, from compliance failure, reduced data connectivity and data breaches. While IT is aware of what’s at stake, an employee or line of business manager is often just trying to “to get the job done” and doesn’t know that shadow IT is a risky practice. 

Assess Your Shadow IT Risk Factor

Do you understand the risk factors of shadow IT? Find out by taking the ultimate shadow IT quiz below:

1.  It’s been more than a year since the company security policy was updated.
Yes – Add 2 points
No – Add 0 points

2.  Security awareness training is provided annually company-wide and for all new hires.
Yes – Add 0 points
No – Add 3 points

3.  Managers are educated on company procedures for vetting and acquiring new tools and services.
Yes – Add 0 points
No – Add 3 points
4.  Employees are surveyed on the usability and effectiveness of existing tools and services.
Yes – Add 0 points
No – Add 2 points

5. Support tickets have decreased from departments that often have higher numbers of support requests.
Yes – Add 1 points
No – Add 0 points

6. There are support tickets for tools and services that IT can’t access.
Yes – Add 4
No – Add 0 points


0 to 3 – Secure as Fort Knox
Awesome, congratulations! Your infrastructure is well-protected and practically air tight!

4 to 7 – Not too bad!
Good job, but with some adjustments your organization is well on its way to a secure and efficient IT infrastructure!

8 to 15 – Red alert!
Your IT infrastructure is at risk. It’s not too late to build the kind of IT infrastructure that is well-protected, connected, and efficient.

The Shadow IT Solution

Shadow IT is a common but preventable problem. If you find yourself dealing with shadow IT, here are a few ways to help reduce the burden:

1. Evaluate
By evaluating existing tools and policies, you may find shortcomings where it’s easier for users to create a shadow IT infrastructure.

2. Communicate
Talk to employees. Maybe existing tools are difficult to use or employees don’t know what’s available. Understanding why they are using workarounds can help you adjust your strategy and determine if more training or a new tool is needed.

3. Simplify
Data security requires an all-hands-on-deck approach. Make it easy for employees to understand and follow company security training and policy. Training should be provided annually company-wide and for all new employees.

Shadow IT can expose weaknesses within an IT infrastructure and lead to security breaches, decreased productivity, and compliance failures.

In the guide “How to Win the Shadow IT Battle,” you can learn how shadow IT:

  • exposes security and compliance vulnerabilities,
  • leads to an increase in costs and a decrease in productivity, and
  • drives innovation when practiced with the right strategy.

Now more than ever, winning the shadow IT battle is possible with a strategy and toolset that ensures both IT requirements and employee needs are met.