Millennials: the new workplace threat

Younger employees are taking their own technology and mobile devices into the workplace, confounding attempts to protect internal networks, reports Information Week.  The so-called Millennial generation, Under-28s who are increasingly connected to others using social networking software, are basing their choice of employer partly on how accommodating the company is to personal technology preferences, according to a recent survey conducted by Accenture.

According to the survey, nearly two-thirds of Millenials are either unaware of their companies’ information technology policies or are simply not inclined to follow them. It also highlighted the acceleration of a trend among younger workers that shows a bias toward using technology to connect with colleagues, peers, family and friends, instead of relying on telephone calls or face-to-face contact.  In other words, young workers’ habits are underscoring the difference between the technology that organizations provide their workforce and how young workers actually want to use technology to communicate and collaborate.

“The message from Millennials is clear: To lure them into the workplace, prospective employers must provide state-of-the-art technologies,” says Gary Curtis, managing director of Accenture Technology Consulting. “And if their employers don’t support their preferred technologies, Millennials will acquire and use them anyway. In order to acquire and retain the best talent, organizations must understand the technologies that the new workforce expects — and then find a way to support their employees without compromising enterprise security.”

The Accenture survey is the latest in a long string of studies in workforce behavioral analysis that points to employees as the weak link in the security chain.  While social networking software has long been the bane of CISOs, the evidence seems clear that information security and human resource policies must take modern technology into account or risk becoming obsolete.

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