Browse Definitions:
Definition

shadow app

Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn

A shadow app is a software program that is not supported by an employee's information technology (IT) department.

In the past, shadow apps were often installed locally by impatient employees who wanted immediate access to software without going through normal corporate channels. With the growth of software-as-a-service (SaaS) and cloud computing, however, the meaning has expanded to include third-party consumer software that is accessed over the Internet.

Skype, Lucidchart, Dropbox, Google Spreadsheets, Docusign and CloudOn are all popular shadow apps. Although many shadow apps can improve productivity and collaboration with little or no financial cost to the company, their use comes with risks. If an employee accesses a cloud app with his personal account, for example, corporate data may be put at risk or even lost if the employee leaves the company. Shadow apps can also cause bandwidth issues on the corporate network, slowing things down and impacting everyone's productivity.

To prevent problems, an IT department should have a service audit process in place to inspect outbound packets and verify ownership of company-owned services in the cloud. The organization should also have policy in place that requires employees to use corporate accounts for web-based applications and restrict network privileges so end users cannot install software locally. If a large group of employees is using a particular cloud app, the IT department should consider providing the service in house and finally, the IT department should educate employees about the value of corporate data and the risks that shadow apps present.

See also: shadow IT, rogue IT

This was last updated in August 2014

Continue Reading About shadow app

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

SearchCompliance

  • internal audit (IA)

    An internal audit (IA) is an organizational initiative to monitor and analyze its own business operations in order to determine ...

  • pure risk (absolute risk)

    Pure risk, also called absolute risk, is a category of threat that is beyond human control and has only one possible outcome if ...

  • risk assessment

    Risk assessment is the identification of hazards that could negatively impact an organization's ability to conduct business.

SearchSecurity

  • principle of least privilege (POLP)

    The principle of least privilege (POLP), an important concept in computer security, is the practice of limiting access rights for...

  • identity management (ID management)

    Identity management (ID management) is the organizational process for identifying, authenticating and authorizing individuals or ...

  • zero-day (computer)

    A zero-day vulnerability, also known as a computer zero day, is a flaw in software, hardware or firmware that is unknown to the ...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR)

    Business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) are closely related practices that describe an organization's preparation for ...

  • business continuity plan (BCP)

    A business continuity plan (BCP) is a document that consists of the critical information an organization needs to continue ...

  • call tree

    A call tree -- sometimes referred to as a phone tree -- is a telecommunications chain for notifying specific individuals of an ...

SearchStorage

  • SAS SSD (Serial-Attached SCSI solid-state drive)

    A SAS SSD (Serial-Attached SCSI solid-state drive) is a NAND flash-based storage or caching device designed to fit in the same ...

  • MTTR (mean time to repair)

    MTTR (mean time to repair) is the average time required to fix a failed component or device and return it to production status.

  • OpenStack Swift

    OpenStack Swift, also known as OpenStack Object Storage, is an open source object storage system that is licensed under the ...

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • hybrid hard disk drive (HDD)

    A hybrid hard disk drive is an electromechanical spinning hard disk that contains some amount of NAND Flash memory.

Close