Rogue SharePoint sites pose security menace

Gartner estimates that 30% of SharePoint servers are rogue deployments, launched by business managers without the IT department's knowledge. SharePoint is easy to set up and easy to use, which makes it popular with the power user crowd. That might be nice for Microsoft's pocketbook but not for IT pros. Rogue deployments are not likely to be very secure, Gartner warns.

However, there is some good news: Finding those wayward SharePoint servers has become easier thanks to some freebie sleuthing tools by Microsoft and Quest Software.

Just what kind of danger do rogue SharePoint servers pose? Obviously they cause governance issues over protecting data for e-discovery. They may also violate access control policies -- allowing the wrong users to see documents and data they shouldn't. In the worst cases, they become an "in" for hackers. Older versions of SharePoint have been known to have cross-site scripting vulnerabilities, for instance. Plus, rogue versions of SharePoint may be placed on rogue and unpatched versions of Windows Server -- a security headache unto itself.

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