Signing up to try out new cloud-based tools? It’s a piece of cake. This is great news for your employees, but not so great for your business. When your organisational data is being shared with various applications – and you’re not keeping track of them all – you’re leaving yourself open to risk.
As you’ve probably already realised, there’s no ‘one size fits all’ tool that will satisfy the needs of all your employees. Everyone has different requirements, and they all need different tools to help them carry out their tasks. It’s not surprising to learn that nearly 50% of employees believe that having access to the right tools makes them more productive at work. And 16% feel happier at work when they have the freedom and flexibility to use the tools, software and apps that best suit them.
It’s important to be able to give employees this flexibility. It can help to provide them with a great workplace experience and build their confidence. It can help you to retain top talent, and attract new candidates.
But there’s a downside, too. It’s introducing a new type of security challenge.
Flexibility & cyber security
Once upon a time, implementing new business software was a big task. There were discussions, comparisons, order processes, deliveries, on-premises installations – and so on.
Today, it’s as simple as signing up for a free trial, entering some card details online, and accessing the software instantly in the cloud. Software as a Service (SaaS) has made it easier than ever for businesses to give their employees the flexibility to choose the tools that suit them best.
But it’s also made new software implementation more of a casual activity. It’s now something that many employees don’t really give much thought to.
They may decide they need a tool, use it for a short amount of time, and forget about it. They may sign up for 3 similar services, trying them all out before deciding which one to move forward with.
This sort of casual approach is where the problem lies. Many tools end up being redundant, or go unused for years. Yet your business data and credit card information still remain in the system.
The more places that your business credit card details are being entered – and the more places your business data is being stored – the more likely you are to experience a breach in the future.
Minimising your risk
The solution isn’t to prevent your employees from signing up for the services they need. Instead, it’s to balance flexibility and cyber security, offering employees choice while protecting your business.
Possible solutions include…
1. Implementing policies and permissions which ensure that employees are not able to sign up for new software without approval from an authorised individual. This enables employees to suggest apps that can help them stay productive, but means new sign-ups can be tracked and monitored.
2. Developing a SaaS management strategy that actively keeps tabs on all active subscriptions to cloud-based apps and services. This can help to prevent new sign-ups that aren’t needed – for example, if an existing tool can do the job – and allows for unused accounts to be shut down.
3. Working with our team here at Perigon One. As part of our managed IT services, we offer licence management for all software, and monthly reporting. To find out more about how we can help you minimise your risk while keeping your people happy, get in touch.