Cisco report: Young employees present data security riskWritten by Linda Johnson Monday, 09 January 2012 11:21
Young workers and students show little regard for protecting information and represent a significant security threat to the companies they work for, according to a recent report from Cisco Systems.
Table of contents
(Page 1 of 2)
According to the report, 70 per cent of young employees admitted they break IT policies “with varying regularity,” and 61 per cent said they believe they are not responsible for protecting their IT devices, such as iphones, androids, laptops and ipads.
“They think that is the corporation’s responsibility, if they think about it at all,” said Scott Olechowski, Cisco security and threat research manager.
Respondents showed a similar disregard for their personal information. Eighty-six per cent of college students said they have allowed others, even strangers, to use their computers unsupervised; while 16 per cent said they have left their personal devices unattended in public.
One of every four (24 per cent) college students reported they have experienced “some form” of identity theft — such as stolen credit cards and ID — by age 23. At the same time, two out of five (40 per cent) have a friend or relative who has also been a victim of identity theft.
“There’s a disconnect here,” Olechowski said. “These people are sharing so much and providing unsupervised access. Yet, they’re actually seeing grave consequences for that type of activity.
“And these are the people who are coming into our workforce. We need to be thinking about how they view things, what they’ve become accustomed to and either how we’re going to fight that or how we’re going to protect ourselves in the process.”
Another cause for concern, he added, is the attitude of many young workers towards social media. An overwhelming majority of respondents, 80 per cent, either think their company’s IT policy on social media and devices usage is outdated or weren’t sure if a policy existed at all.
“We all know that we have an amazing number of sophisticated threats coming from outside our organizations. But right here, these numbers reflect that our views may actually be one of the top threats that our companies are facing,” he said.
According to the survey, Olechowski said, many employees violate IT policies because they perceive “a giant disconnect” between the policies and what they need to do their jobs. He noted that 22 per cent said they have to use unauthorized programs and applications to get their jobs done, while 18 per cent said they are simply too busy to think about the policies.
Published in News