Young generation of workers are biggest threat to cybersecurity

By Maurice Garvey

THE younger generation of workers are the biggest threat to cybersecurity, according to a recent survey by Nangor Road IT firm DataSolutions.

The study which involved 500 Irish office workers, found that one in ten Millennial office workers would keep using a device that was under cyber-attack.

Dave Keating DataSolutions 1

Dave Keating, Group Security Director, DataSolutions

It also discovered that 19 per cent of all Irish office workers have sent sensitive work-related information to the wrong email recipient.

Furthermore, 14 per cent of Irish office workers have copied sensitive company data from previous or current employers for their own use.

The survey was commissioned by specialist IT solutions distributor, DataSolutions, and carried out by Censuswide in May 2019.

Up to 42 per cent of Gen Z’s admitted that they’ve lost a device linked to a work email account.

Findings revealed 28 per cent of Gen Z employees admitted to having access to company information or private logins from a previous employer, followed by Millennials (16 per cent), Gen Xs (9 per cent) and Baby Boomers (8 per cent).

Across all generations, the devices that Irish office workers fear most being hacked are their smart security cameras (31 per cent), followed by smart home alarms (30 per cent) and smart home voice assistants (28 per cent).

Dave Keating, Group Security Director, DataSolutions, said it is a “positive sign that younger generations place an emphasis on internet security”, but noted this “awareness doesn’t always translate into action.”

“For example, when the WhatsApp security breach occurred earlier this year, everybody was talking about it, but how many people immediately went on and actually deleted or upgraded the app on their phone. I’d say fewer than you think.

“That’s why employers cannot take for granted that their employees will take steps to stave off an attack when they have other work commitments or if it impacts on the use of their devices.”

Keating said business leaders need to remain alert to the dangers and safeguard themselves “by putting the right solutions and strategies in place.”

Cyber security, breaches and attacks, are among the issues DataSolutions will be discussing at this year’s Secure Computing Forum in the RDS on September 12.

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