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Masergy Shines a Light on Shadow IT Security Threats

Masergy's Shadow IT Discovery service tracks 4,300 SaaS applications and provides insight into the risk level these applications present to customers' network security.

Kelsey Ziser

January 14, 2020

2 Min Read
Masergy Shines a Light on Shadow IT Security Threats

Masergy is improving visibility into unauthorized SaaS applications for its Managed SD-WAN customers with Shadow IT Discovery -- a network visibility and security tool now available in the Masergy Intelligent Service Control (ISC) portal.

Masergy's new Shadow IT Discovery scans customers' networks for all cloud-based SaaS applications and categorizes them as "known" or "unknown" (to the customer). In addition, the new service associates each application with a "Masergy Risk Score" to provide IT departments with insight into threat levels. Risk scores assigned to each SaaS application -- one being lowest and five being highest risk level -- are determined based on factors, including how bandwidth intensive an application is or how easily the application can evade security rules or firewalls.

Figure 1: Masergy's Shadow IT Discovery Service Image courtesy of Masergy. Image courtesy of Masergy.

Masergy's VP of Global Technology Ray Watson says the average global enterprise organization uses nearly 2,000 unique cloud services but "most IT departments are only aware of about 30. Shadow IT is not the exception, it's the overwhelming rule and with that comes risks around compliance, GDPR issues and data breaches. [Shadow IT] is the attack vector for one third of successful data breaches."

He adds, "As bad as this is now, it's going to get worse because all companies are increasing their mobility."

Shadow IT occurs when employees utilize cloud-based SaaS without approval from corporate IT. While corporate IT may have approved Microsoft OneDrive, for example, employees could be using DropBox instead to share files.

Masergy is launching the Shadow IT Discovery service both to improve imbedded security in its SD-WAN service, and provide visibility into potential causes of data breaches. IT managers can address unauthorized applications individually or make bulk changes by blocking all applications that, for example, meet a specific risk score.

Masergy's Shadow IT Discovery service provides IT with the ability to address SaaS applications in the network in real-time or examine historic data. The tool doesn't allow IT to reclassify historic data retroactively, for security reasons.

Masergy's Shadow IT Discovery service tracks 4,300 SaaS applications and meets National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) cybersecurity standards. Watson says the Shadow IT Discovery service is available to all Managed SD-WAN customers at no additional cost.

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— Kelsey Kusterer Ziser, Senior Editor, Light Reading

About the Author(s)

Kelsey Ziser

Senior Editor, Light Reading

Kelsey is a senior editor at Light Reading, co-host of the Light Reading podcast, and host of the "What's the story?" podcast.

Her interest in the telecom world started with a PR position at Connect2 Communications, which led to a communications role at the FREEDM Systems Center, a smart grid research lab at N.C. State University. There, she orchestrated their webinar program across college campuses and covered research projects such as the center's smart solid-state transformer.

Kelsey enjoys reading four (or 12) books at once, watching movies about space travel, crafting and (hoarding) houseplants.

Kelsey is based in Raleigh, N.C.

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