Gen-Y Workers’ Attitudes On BYOD Pose Big Security Concerns For IT

Gen-Y Workers’ Attitudes On BYOD Pose Big Security Concerns For IT

Millennial workers view BYOD as a right and device security as their personal responsibility

Enterprise security vendor Fortinet decided that the best way to understand members of the millennial generation (or Gen-Y) and their potential impact on IT and security policies was to ask them directly for their views on technology in the workplace. What Fortinet learned will probably keep CIOs and IT leaders up at night.

Most millenials view BYOD programs and the ability to choose the technology they use for work as a right rather than a privilege and have few qualms about outright ignoring policies that restrict that right – even in situations where they know that important data breaches could be the result.

Most worrying for IT leaders, however, is that most young workers feel that device and data security is their personal responsibility even when sensitive business data is stored on or accessed from their personal iPhone, iPad, or other device.

Fortinet surveyed over 3,800 workers in the 20s from 15 countries, making the survey one of the broadest conducted on how millenials will impact the IT industry.

  • 74% claim they use their personal mobile device for work
  • 55% explicitly described the ability to bring personal devices into the office as a right rather than a privilege
  • 36% admitted they have or would violate a corporate policy banning the use of personal devices for work purposes (in India, that percentage was nearly double the global average at 66%)
  • 42% believe potential data loss and exposure to malicious IT threats is a dominant risk and security challenge – yet that risk awareness doesn’t prevent them from bypassing corporate policies
  • 69% are interested in Bring Your Own Application (BYOA) programs, where users create and use their own custom apps for work
  • 66% consider themselves to be responsible for the security of their device – not their employer or its IT department

The idea that millenials feel personally responsible for the technology they use actually helps make Apple’s iOS a better option than Android or Windows Phone in the consumerized workplace. Apple’s curated App Store approach is a powerful way to ensure malicious software isn’t loaded onto a device. Apple has also kept its platform from fragmenting across the range of OS versions and updates that is commonplace with Android.

Beyond workplace issues and opinions on BYOD, Fortinet also learned that 35% of millenials feel that they can’t go a day without checking in on their social networks and 47% can’t go a day without text messaging.

  • technochick

    The answer is simple. These companies need to set the policies and make it clear that anyone that doesn’t follow them just fired themselves. Period. Screw what the millenials want or think it should be. If they think they have a real case for their view then they make it but if the bosses don’t agree that’s the end of it.

About the author

Ryan FaasRyan Faas is a technology journalist and consultant living in upstate New York who has written extensively about Apple, business and enterprise IT, and the mobile industry. In addition to writing for Cult of Mac, he is a contributor to Computerworld, InformIT, and Peachpit Press. In a previous existence he was a healthcare IT director as well as a systems and network administrator. Follow Ryan on Twitter and Google +

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