This article explores one downside of the new millennial worker – an increased security concern. A recent study conducted by IT security company Symantec shows that the new generation of tech-savvy employees could make it difficult for the government – and by inference for private sector companies – to implement effective IT risk-management policies. The study found that new millennial hires are more lax in their attitude toward technology at work than their older colleagues by accessing more social websites (like Facebook and My Space), finance applications and personal email accounts. Additionally, 75 percent of millennials have downloaded software onto their work computers for personal use, compared to 25 percent of older workers.
While IT managers believe they are doing an adequate job educating the workforce, only 57 percent of younger and older employees said they received training on their companies’ technology policies. Worse, ten percent of millennials indicated they had indeed received training but don’t follow the policies anyway. Even before the survey, nearly 90 percent of tech managers were aware of increased risk exposure because of new technologies, with 36 percent of them recently writing and enforcing new policies and two-thirds considering restricting the use of the latest Web 2.0 applications and smart devices.
The study calls on IT managers to follow IT risk management best practices of examining which technologies and practices employees are using and identifying methods to limit the use of inappropriate ones. The author suggests that managers educate millennials on the risks and benefits of new technologies and then go beyond educating to coach them to create a solution themselves, based on their own capabilities and proficiencies and their take on the technology, process and people involved.