Will Your Generation Pose a Cybersecurity Risk after GDPR goes Live?

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The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will go live on 25th May 2018 but a new survey has revealed that more than half of of IT, security and enterprise professionals believe millennials’ nonchalant approach to data security could pose a risk to its successful introduction. However, researchers also suggested that it’s not just Generation Y who are flouting the rules. We’ve taken a look at how the different generations are causing sleepless nights for their IT department, security experts and boardroom bosses.

The Relaxed Approach of Generation Y

Released by the Ponemon Institute in association with Citrix, the new survey found that 55 per cent of respondents feel Generation Y will pose the biggest threat to the new security policies once they’re introduced, with a further 39 per cent suggesting millennials are more likely to use unauthorised apps while at work, and so compromise data security.

Of course, with GDPR pending this could pose a serious issue for the country’s vital SMEs and startups, many of which have Generation Y employees at their heart. Experts suggest that these tech-hungry workers, having grown up during the dawn of social media, could have the least respect for security, and therefore the largest impact on their firms should they flout the new rules.

The Just-As-Casual Generation X

In a similar vein as their younger counterparts, Generation X have also been found to be relatively cool and calm when it comes to data security. In fact, 32 per cent of IT professionals felt they were the most likely of all generations to use unapproved apps and devices at work, potentially risking the security of important data.

Unlike Generation Y, whose relative lack of concern could be due to growing up as the internet grew, Generation X’s casual approach could potentially be due to their being raised in a world of microwaves and fax machines rather than social media. Unlike Generation Z, the new-kids-on-the-block who have technology ingrained in their upbringing, Generation X entered the business world while data security was simply a matter of clever filing and locking drawers, which hardly fosters the same significant level of concern required to keep modern businesses safe.

The Susceptible Baby Boomers

While the Baby Boomer generation (those born between 1946 and 1964) are less likely to whip out Whatsapp in the work place, the survey found that 33 per cent of the respondents felt they were the most likely to fall victim to scams due to their relatively lack of familiarity with modern technology. Specifically, Baby Boomers were considered the most likely to be taken in my phishing and social engineering scams, with 30 per cent suggesting their older employees has a distinct lack of knowledge in the best practices for protecting sensitive data.

This is hardly a surprise, but it does pose questions in the run up to the introduction of GDPR. Namely, with so many inter-generational issues facing businesses, how can IT professionals stay ahead of the curve?

Stan Black, chief security officer at Citrix, says: “While these more strict regulations are being put into place, take a strategic approach, look at the big picture, educate your workforce to create a security-aware culture, and find comprehensive solutions that adhere to the unique needs of your business.”


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