Thursday 24 October 2019

Tech-savvy young staff are bigger cyber-security risk

Hacked off: Younger workers are more likely to continue using a compromised device
Hacked off: Younger workers are more likely to continue using a compromised device

Ailish O'Hora

Younger workers pose a bigger cyber-security risk to businesses than their older peers - because they are less cautious about devices and data.

Nearly half of Generation Z workers, typically aged in their late teens to early 20s, admitted to losing a device that was linked to a work email account while one in ten Millennials (aged 24 to 37) said they would keep using a device that was under cyber-attack.

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The survey was conducted by IT solutions distributor DataSolutions among 500 Irish office workers and carried out by Censuswide in May 2019.

According to the results of the survey, 19pc of Irish workers have sent sensitive work-related information to the wrong email recipient, while 14pc of those questioned have copied sensitive company data from previous or current employers for their own use.

One third of Generation Z workers admitted to having access to company information or private logins from a previous employer. The same was true of 16pc of Millennials, 9pc of Generation X workers (aged 38 to 53) and 8pc of Baby Boomers (aged 54-72).

Despite being less careful, however, Generation Z-ers were the most suspicious of the hacking of all types of internet-connected devices, ranging from smart phones and other wearables to games consoles.

They were also the most concerned category with 25pc of them worried that their wearables were being hacked while only 15pc of Millennials, 19pc of Generation X-ers and 15pc of Baby Boomers felt the same.

"It's clear from our survey findings that Irish office workers, albeit some more than others, are cautious because of the threat of cyber-attacks," said Dave Keating, group security director at DataSolutions.

"While it is a positive sign that the younger generation places an emphasis on internet security, we can see that this awareness doesn't always translate into action."

He said that the fact that one in ten Millennial workers would still use a device that they know is under cyber-attack is a clear indication that business leaders need to safeguard themselves by putting the right solutions and strategies in place to prevent any costly and reputation-damaging breaches.

Cybersecurity and data protection are among the themes at the Secure Computing Forum (SCF) conference on September 12 at Dublin's RDS. SCF is a joint venture between DataSolutions and Independent News & Media. Data Protection Commissioner Helen Dixon is one of the keynote speakers.

For more information and tickets go to

Irish Independent

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