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December 8, 2016

Cybersecurity Challenges in a Millennial-Dominated Workforce

Written by Shina Neo

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As millennials take over the global workforce by leveraging learning technologies, digitizing business processes and transforming how business is conducted, it is important to recognize the cybersecurity implications and challenges that come along with today’s digital native and content sharing generation.

While technological advancements in the learning and development space have greatly enhanced the effectiveness and efficiency of business objectives and practices, the increase in technology use brought on by the influx of millennials demands a greater need to promote cybersecurity awareness training.

Millennials need to connect with like-minded individuals and have instant access to the right information, at the right time, essentially building a culture where people are learning at the speed of search. Oftentimes, that means they are bringing their own technology to the workplace, effectively creating cybersecurity risks when business information or confidential intellectual property is housed on their devices.

“Millennials in the workplace have a different perspective on the sensitivity of information, information-sharing and the ramifications of personal data being shared within a corporate environment,” said Morey Haber, vice president of technology at BeyondTrust, in a SHRM article.

According to a Softchoice report on careless cloud users, employees who use cloud-based apps are four times more likely to access work-related documents outside of the office through a program not approved or vetted by the IT department. Younger app users are more likely culprits than their senior counterparts. The report reveals millennials and Generation X’ers claim IT is too slow to approve their choice of program. Baby boomers were not aware they had to get approval.

However, more often than not, many employees are simply unaware of the cyber risks and threats. The report revealed 58 percent of all employees have not been told the appropriate way to download and use cloud apps, 44 percent of all employees have not been told how to securely transfer confidential data, and 39 percent of all employees are not aware of the risks of downloading cloud apps.

As technology usage in the workplace increases and how we conduct business continues to become more digitized, organizations must make it a point to implement cybersecurity awareness training. More so than any other generation, millennials are prone to over sharing information, which could lead to confidential data being hacked or leaked.

“Millennials, who have grown up around technology and are so used to using it, might not view that device they are bringing to work or that computer they have been given to get their work done as something as insecure,” said Joan Goodchild, editor-in-chief of CSO, in a U.S. News article.

In an age where everything is becoming digitized and learning at the speed of search is critical to success, millennials have often prioritized instant access and efficiency over security. Although nothing is truly 100 percent secure, organizations should  security policies so confidential data doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. As remote work and independent workers are becoming more prominent, it is imperative to establish BYOD policies and data loss prevention strategies. Security awareness training should be consistent and up to date to keep up with the ever-changing cyber threats and attacks.

Successful organizations are recognizing the need not only to stay relevant by leveraging learning technologies, but also securing their intellectual property in order to remain competitive in today’s marketplace. Adopting a secure content sharing platform can ensure your data is safe whether an employee is using a company-provided or personal device. The most effective security training is relevant and retainable among all generations.

 

Shina Neo

Shina Neo is the content marketing manager at Content Raven where she is responsible for the publication of all blog posts, white papers, eBooks, infographics and social media campaigns. Previously, Shina worked as a news reporter and has written for numerous newspapers and magazines nationwide. She holds a Masters of Science in Journalism from Boston University.

Report: What You Need to Know About BYOD

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