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Younger employees to blame for security breaches, says study

Have you ever been guilty of a security breach at work? It turns out that more than a third of senior executives believe the blame lies with younger employees.

A new independent study into attitudes of the next generation workforce about cybersecurity, commissioned by Centrify, found that over a third of 18 to 24-year-olds are able to access any files on their company network.

Only in one five have to request permission to access specific files and 43 per cent have access to the files that are relevant to their work.

The study, conducted by Censuswide, sought the views of 1,000 next generation workers (18 to 24-year-olds) and 500 decision makers in UK organisations to discover how security, privacy and online behaviour at work impacts the lives of younger employees and the companies that they work for.

47 per cent of decision makers in the workplace worry about younger employees sharing media posts and the impact these could have on a brand and its reputation.

“Some may think of younger workers as always online, always ready to share information and perhaps not being as concerned about privacy or security as older workers, but we must remember they are the business leaders of tomorrow and we must help not hinder them,” said Barry Scott, CTO EMEA at Centrify.

“While it’s clear that employers are concerned about this new generation entering the workforce – and see them as a potential risk to both the business and brand – these same companies are perhaps guilty of not putting in place the right security processes, policies and technologies. If you give employees access to any information at any time from any place, or fail to enforce strict password and security policies, they are likely to take full advantage, putting both their own jobs at risk as well as the company itself.”

While 79 per cent of decision makers report having a strong security policy in place and 74 per cent of them think that their employees abide by it, over a third (37 per cent) feel that young workers are too relaxed about security policies.