Never Trust Anyone Under 30

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Click through to see more findings from a recent survey by Cisco Systems.

Topics : Application Security, IT Process Management, Six Sigma


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.

 

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