Never Trust Anyone Under 30

Charlene OHanlon

Cisco is sharing the results of a survey about the overall state of network security in the enterprise worldwide.

The survey-the results of which were announced in conjunction with the announcement of its partnership with other vendors to create validated secure borderless network systems - looked at the security processes of companies in the United States, Germany, China, India and Japan. Specifically, the survey delved into the IT security issues related to tracking vulnerabilities and policy enforcement in the corporate environment.

More than 500 IT decision makers from the five target countries took part in the survey. Interestingly, security in the United States, China and India is achieved using a multipronged approach, with companies incorporating more than one technology to track vulnerabilities. But despite the greater attention to security, respondents from these countries regularly find employees are using unauthorized devices or unsupported applications on their network, resulting in information loss.

Social networking was the largest offender, with 68 percent of respondents reporting unauthorized Facebooking (or other online socializing).

What may be the most telling findings, however, are those that show how important security issues are relative to hiring and keeping good employees. The survey reveals a feeling among its respondents, especially those in China and India, that overly strict security policies can have a negative impact on the hiring and retention of employees who are under the age of 30-a whopping 71 percent, in fact.

And yet, more than half of the survey respondents said they would allow personal devices on the corporate network within the next year, despite the potential security risks.

Both of these statistics show that many IT decision makers are apt to turn a blind eye to seemingly non-threatening but nonetheless real security breaches in the name of employee satisfaction, especially those employees under 30. Do they think employees over 30 are the only population posing a security risk? What is it about employees under 30 that makes them immune to security policies and impervious to scrutiny?

I can understand that younger employees may be perceived to be more in tune with cutting-edge technologies, but that's not always the case. Sometimes, experience is the greatest teacher. And experience is the one thing many of these under-30 employees lack.

It seems counterintuitive to implement tight security policies and turn around and ignore them to keep employees happy. Ensuring the security of corporate information should be the IT decision maker's highest priority.

Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Jun 30, 2010 2:06 PM Anonymous Anonymous  says:
Thanks for making a broad sweeping statement about all of us who are under 30. I cannot express how much I appreciate you making the claim that I should never be trusted. Now that I have that out of my system, you're a fool. I work in Information Security and I have seen people of all ages do the things you discuss in your article. Stop making silly generalizations and write a real article. Reply
Jun 30, 2010 2:06 PM Anonymous Anonymous  says:
Believing that life is full of opportunities to grow and prosper, I embrace the knowledge of many sources, and thank you for these wise lessons. I am a subscriber to the free info you provide, and consider it one of the best freebies available, right up there with these: "Free, Libre, Open source Software" at GNU/Linux Reply
Jul 28, 2010 7:07 PM Calimero Calimero  says:
This is a valuable information for our security guys and worth to pay attention Reply
Aug 9, 2010 12:08 PM Anonymous Anonymous  says:
I am over 40 so does that mean i should be trusted??? ROTFLMAO even I dont trust me :D the Bouncer Reply
Jun 19, 2011 11:06 PM Tusabanna Tusabanna  says:
Help me! I am posting this message from my friends computer because I feel some traffic at this site, I see people are reading this site. My computer broke! My NOTEBOOK broke. I was looking at many places and I am so confused what to select. I don't know much about COMPUTERS, I feel so dumb and don't know where to BUY REFURBISHED COMPUTER. I found (you can see it here, direct link - "LAPTOP") - but they have so plenty of them so I am really confused what to buy. Can you please help me and tell me what to buy? I just did not see other stores then site with a big choice. Please help to select something good and cheap. Thank you! Reply
Sep 29, 2011 2:09 PM Anonymous Anonymous  says:
Sorry, Its not the under 30 that cause the issue with breaking security to adopt the "new shiny tech toy" or get access to the new cool website. Time and again its the executives who have the disposable income and buy some thing like the iPhone or iPad over a weekend then show up Monday and demand to IT and Security that it works on the corporate network. They come in and demand to dork up security and put your job at risk based on elite privilege. Seriously, there have been hundreds of articles to this point. So in reality the failure starts at the top and everyone says "me too" and everything collapses from there. Really... how disappointing. Reply
Nov 21, 2011 9:11 PM ISO-9001-Consulting ISO-9001-Consulting  says:
My experience may be different on the under 30 issue. Most of the 20 somethings in my business are more to be trusted than the 50 somethings. However this my not be true for all countries. Reply
Jan 11, 2012 8:01 PM Business Intelligence Business Intelligence  says:
How is Facebook resulting in "information loss" exactly? Overly aggressive security measures will probably upset most employees, what is the ratio for over 30 year olds? Reply

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