Having grown up in an age of lurching software advances, ubiquitous communication and social networking, this is not a group easily dissuaded from using any and every application by the old reasoning that software can be a ‘bit risky.’ The same applies to their attitude to BYOD, a trend driven by the basic social reality that workers of all age groups now depend on personal devices such as smartphones and tablets and won’t take happily to the idea of being asked to leave them at home.
If the ‘Generation Y’ label sounds a bit glib there is a small but growing body of evidence that a worker’s age does play some role in shaping attitudes to technology. A recent survey by Avecto of 1,500 IT admins visiting the TechEd US and European conferences found that workers between the ages of 20 and 35 – the Gen Y demographic - were seen by 80 percent of professionals as posing a formidable obstacle to application security.
Why? The tendency of this group to download unauthorised apps was the first big concern, with nearly forty percent of admins reporting having experienced a malware incident because of this behaviour. Three quarters of admins weren’t even sure how many unauthorised applications had been downloaded, which renders the issue of the damage caused almost moot.
It’s not necessarily that older workers don’t participate in risky behaviour as well but that Generation Y is perhaps more active and confident in finding applications for themselves and utterly convinced of their right and need to have them. The survey implied that many admins try to cope with this by ‘flying blind’, that is they look to manage assertive users using manual procedures based on assumptions and trust. Without tools they have no obvious alternative.
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