Shadow IT
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Shadow IT

What you don't know can hurt you. If you know there is a problem and deliberately ignore it, that's irresponsible and dereliction of due diligence.

About the Book

Mark Twain is credited with the saying "It Ain’t What You Don’t Know That Gets You Into Trouble. It’s What You Know for Sure That Just Ain’t So." The more sure you are that your networks and information systems are locked down and comply with your security policies; that they are actually enforced by your nextgen firewalls, fancy URL filtering proxy servers, and SIEM dashboards, the more likely it is, that just ain't so. Shadow IT has a way of taking security policies that you know are Right, and making them Irrelevant because you can't even detect (or are not looking for) that shadow IT is bypassing your security policies and objectives.

A blog will accompany the book for information between updates to the book if you are interested.

Read the book for free: send me an email at and describe your suspicion of how Shadow IT is being used in your organization and I'll send you a coupon for the book. Example: Have you shut off the WiFi at home for "family time" or "quiet study/reading time"? So the kids are now using cellular data or the neighbors' WiFi instead, what do they care about your WiFi, and do you really want your kids to be so stupid and compliant they won't think of it?

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  • Categories

    • Computer Security
    • Innovation Management
    • Leadership
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About the Author

djilpmh pi
djilpmh pi

Djilpmh Pi has been observing and making note of how Shadow IT has proliferated in many areas, and some of the most egregious examples are presented in his book "Shadow IT". While he does support the idea that "there are no stupid questions" he draws the line at "you can do that now?". Well yeah! Instead the question should be framed: is it bad or dangerous to me, how can I stop it, and what needs to be done to head off these situations in the future? Each type of Shadow IT is briefly described, suggestions on how to block it, and some observations to provide context and further background. Hint: company leadership needs to actively guide the vision and direction of how technology will be used, instead of forcing workers and developers creating and using new and innovative products and services to fight with traditional IT and security groups. If that wasted energy were put to collaborative effort everyone could benefit.

For other work by Djilpmh Pi in the areas of privacy and the legitimate use of TOR see .

Table of Contents

  • 0. Disclaimer
    • 0.1 How to Use / Read This Book
  • 1. Shadow IT: An Introduction
    • 1.1 What You Know For Sure That Ain't So
    • 1.2 Applicability
    • 1.3 Types of Shadow IT
    • 1.4 Hire Competent People
    • 1.5 Whitelist your security
    • 1.6 Training, education and "good security practices" are still necessary
    • 1.7 End of Scolding
    • 1.8 No Secrets Here
    • 1.9 Summary and Looking Forward: The Need for Leadership With Vision
  • 2. Local Tunnels
    • 2.1 What is it, and what's the danger?
    • 2.2 How does it work?
    • 2.3 How to detect and stop
    • 2.4 The Irony of Security Education
    • 2.5 Observation
  • 3. Zero Knowledge services
    • 3.1 What is it, how does it work, and what's the danger?
    • 3.2 How Is This Different from File Sharing in the Clouds?
    • 3.3 How to detect and stop
  • 4. Use of Nonstandard Service Ports
    • 4.1 What is it, how does it work, and what's the danger?
    • 4.2 How to Detect and Stop
    • 4.3 Similarity to Anti-Censorship Strategies
  • 5. SSL VPNs
    • 5.1 What is it, how does it work, and what's the danger?
    • 5.2 How to detect and stop
    • 5.3 Observation
    • 5.4 (Web) Application Proxies
  • 6. Misused Online Conferencing Tools
    • 6.1 What is it, how does it work, and what's the danger?
    • 6.2 How to detect and stop
    • 6.3 Examples of Browser Plugin Based and Application Based Conferencing Services
  • 7. Encrypted File Transfer in Browser
    • 7.1 What is it, how does it work, and what's the danger?
    • 7.2 How to detect and stop
  • 8. Cloud Services
    • 8.1 Almost anyone with a credit card can start a cloud based server
    • 8.2 How to detect and stop
    • 8.3 Observation
  • 9. File Sync Danger
    • 9.1 What is it
    • 9.2 How to detect and stop
    • 9.3 Observation
  • 10. Portable Apps
    • 10.1 What is it, how does it work, and what's the danger?
    • 10.2 How to detect and stop
    • 10.3 Observation
  • 11. Desktop Virtualization
    • 11.1 What is it
    • 11.2 How to block
    • 11.3 Observation
    • 11.4 Observation 2
  • 12. Desktop Virtualization and TOR
    • 12.1 What is it, how does it work, and what's the danger?
    • 12.2 How to detect and stop
  • 13. Unblocked TOR Access
    • 13.1 Unblocked TOR access
    • 13.2 How to detect and stop
    • 13.3 Many Networks Do Not Block TOR
    • 13.4 Observation
  • 14. Anti-Censorship Services
    • 14.1 What is it, how does it work, and what's the danger?
    • 14.2 How to detect and stop
  • 15. QUIC! Encrypted UDP Transport
    • 15.1 What is it, how does it work, and what's the danger?
    • 15.2 How to Block
    • 15.3 Observation
    • 15.4 Observation 2

Causes Supported

Electronic Frontier Foundation

Defending your civil liberties in a digital world.

Based in San Francisco, EFF is a donor-supported membership organization working to protect fundamental rights regardless of technology.

From the Internet to the iPod, technologies are transforming our society and empowering us as speakers, citizens, creators, and consumers. When our freedoms in the networked world come under attack, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is the first line of defense. EFF broke new ground when it was founded in 1990—well before the Internet was on most people's radar—and continues to confront cutting-edge issues defending free speech, privacy, innovation, and consumer rights today. From the beginning, EFF has championed the public interest in every critical battle affecting digital rights.

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