Carl Weinschenk spoke with Samir Kapuria, managing director, Symantec Advisory Services.
Weinschenk: So the young people are coming.
Kapuria: We're at the cusp of a new workforce generation, dubbed "the millennium generation." It relates to the culture of people in their late teens and mid 20s. They were brought up by baby boomers. It is a social upbringing in which nobody loses and everyone is a winner. Everyone is given whatever they need to enjoy life. With that disposition coming into the workforce, they expect all the latest gadgets and toys and are very proficient in their use. The lines between their day-to-day activities and the workplace have dissipated. From a business perspective, they've got a different psychological profile. You have to adapt the infrastructure, the culture of the company to embrace, to harness and to adapt to the capabilities of this very unique workforce. You've got everything from iPods to online social networks.
Weinschenk: So the attitude of security forces must change.
Kapuria: The lines between assets owned by a company and brought in by employees are separated when establishing control and governance. A lot of challenges can emerge related to, for example, company information. Folks could put it on devices not owned by the company.
Weinschenk: Is dealing with these kids primarily a social or technical challenge?
Kapuria: I'd say that it's probably 50-50. A certain amount of [effort on the part of the organization is necessary to] harness this workforce to do what is needed by the business. This could be complying with governance standards and policies and procedures. It could include training and awareness. That's the choice side. It also is a technology play. You may block certain social networks or might have employees sign something that in essence says they won't bring any of their personal technology into the workplace or put private information on their technology. Certain technology can control this.
Weinschenk: What is the best approach?
Kapuria: I think coaching can work more than managing. This generation is one that is used to success, that grew up in an atmosphere in which everyone was a winner. If a coaching model is employed where the end goal is success for everyone, maybe there will be some benefit, be it flexible hours or something else like that.