How to achieve Shadow IT detection?

In our last blog, we saw how Shadow IT can have long-term repercussions for every organizations. in this blog we wanted to deep dive on the first step solving shadow IT: detection. Achieving shadow IT detection involves implementing various strategies and tools to identify unauthorized hardware, software, applications, or services being used within an organization. Here's a comprehensive approach:

  1. Network Monitoring: Utilize network monitoring tools to analyze network traffic and identify connections to known SaaS providers. While effective, this method can be time-consuming and requires significant resources for analysis.
  2. Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR), Agent, Agentless or Browser Extension: Deploy endpoint security solutions with SaaS application discovery capabilities to monitor endpoint activity and identify SaaS applications used by users. However, this approach may be intrusive and resource-intensive, particularly in large organizations.
  3. Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB): Implement a CASB solution for visibility into cloud usage and detection of SaaS applications within your organization. CASBs can analyze network traffic and user activity to identify unauthorized cloud usage, but may lack large datasets to identify emerging risks.
  4. User Surveys and Interviews: Conduct surveys or interviews with employees to gather information about the SaaS applications they use. While helpful, it's important to note that employees may intentionally bypass cybersecurity guidance, increasing cyber risk (74% according to a Gartner study).
  5. Audit SaaS Subscriptions and Expenses: Review subscription and expense reports to identify payments made to SaaS providers. While useful for cost control, this method alone may not provide a comprehensive view of shadow IT.
  6. Cloud Service Provider APIs: Leverage APIs provided by cloud service providers to access information about SaaS applications. However, this approach may not be scalable for organizations with numerous SaaS applications (an organization with 600 employees has between 600 to 1200 SaaS in its shadow IT).
  7. Collaboration with IT and Business Units: Work closely with IT and business units to understand technology needs and identify authorized SaaS applications. Collaboration between teams is crucial for managing SaaS applications and shadow IT effectively.
  8. Shadow IT Discovery Tools: Utilize specialized shadow IT discovery tools like Zygon, that use innovative ways to detect every SaaS and every account your organization is using without being intrusive or scan any personal account. We really think that this is the better approach detecting shadow IT, mixing best of each techniques, technical or human related (declarative)

In conclusion, in order to reduce risks brought by Shadow IT or hidden SaaS account in your stack, you have to combine multiple methods. Regular monitoring and collaboration between IT, security, and business units are essential for maintaining visibility and control over SaaS usage. Good news, that’s exactly what we’re doing at Zygon.

Audit and secure your SaaS usage today by booking an onboarding call!

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If SaaS Security is a relevant topic for you and your team, we want to hear from you. Let's schedule a demo together and discuss your current challenges securing the hundreds of apps used by your team.

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"Zygon is going to improve our overall security posture by inventorying and controlling 90% of SaaS that usually remain uncovered by Security Teams."
Arnaud, CISO,  Large Global Group

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