November 27, 2021

Millennials pose risk to corporate mobile security: survey

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Finger_pointing_on_tablet_pc,_mobile_cl-Article-201505131451By Chris DiMarco, From Legaltech News

Despite being digital natives, millennial technology habits could compromise corporate-issued device security.

Millennials may be more tech-savvy than their baby boomer and Gen X co-workers, but a new survey conducted by Absolute Software Corp may indicate their proclivity for using work-issued devices to engage in personal activity compromises mobile security initiatives.

The survey, “U.S. Mobile Device Security Survey Report” polled just over 750 working professionals in the United States using employer-owned mobile devices to conduct business. The results show a stark contrast between the technology expectations of workers ages 18 to 34 and their older compatriots.

According the results, 64 percent of millennials used their employer-owned device for personal use, as opposed to 37 percent of baby boomers. Of those who admitted to personal use, 27 percent of millennials in that group say they engaged in “not safe for work” activity or browsing, something only 5 percent of baby boomers said they did. Not safe for work use included things like accessing personal email accounts, online banking and shipping, video streaming services as well as more salacious actions like “sexting” and viewing pornography. Fortunately, only 3 percent of respondents indicated they had used their work devices for the latter two.

In addition to their use habits, 35 percent of millennials also admitted to modifying the default settings of the devices they were issued. The trend illustrates the idea of “knowing enough to be dangerous” as the knowledge to change the settings alone, does not authorize a user to do so, and could theoretically compromise security efforts managed by an organization’s IT department. Overall, 25 percent of millennials believe they may have compromise IT security at some point, compared with only 5 percent of baby boomers.

The findings underscore the importance of data management and security as it relates to mobile devices. Currently, malware that targets mobile devices is rare (the Verizon Data Breach Incident Report indicated that only .03 percent of Android devices were infected with malicious software in 2014), however, risky use could present opportunities for bad actors to harvest company information from the devices they provide to workers. This risk is something for IT administrators to consider moving forward.

“We conducted this survey with the intention of helping enterprises better understand the current attitudes that employees have towards data security and privacy,” said Stephen Midgley, vice president of global marketing, Absolute Software, in a statement accompanying the release of the survey. “Armed with this information, our customers can consider user behavior as an additional data point in their endpoint security and data risk management strategies.”

IMAGE: Hand touching tablet pc, mobile cloud concept ranczandras

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