Survey Shows Millennials Represent Greatest Risk to Corporate Data

Absolute Software Corporation, an industry standard for persistent endpoint security and management solutions for computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones, announced the results of a U.S. mobile security study*, conducted earlier this year. The survey confirmed that Millennials prove to be a greater risk to data security as compared to other user categories.

The report provides insight into employee attitudes toward IT security and their behaviors on corporate-owned mobile devices. Based on usage preferences and content accessed, the results offer an eye-opening perspective on the security risks associated with employee mobile device usage, depending on company size, employee age, their role, and the number of devices they use.

The report demonstrates clear differences in generational behavior and associated risks related to data security.

Millennials versus Baby Boomers:

  • 64% of Millennials use their employer-owned device for personal use, as opposed to 37% of Baby Boomers
  • 35% of Millennials modify their default settings, compared to 8% of Baby Boomers
  • 27% of Millennials access “Not Safe For Work” content, compared with only 5% of Baby Boomers
  • 25% of Millennials believe they compromise IT security, compared with only 5% of Baby Boomers

“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, Global Marketing, Absolute Software. “Armed with this information, our customers can consider user behavior as an additional data point in their endpoint security and data risk management strategies.”

Additional findings of the 2015 Mobile Device Security Report include:

  • 50% of respondents believe that security is not their responsibility
  • 52% of respondents use their employer-owned devices for personal use
  • 21% of respondents have modified the default settings on their work devices
  • 14% of all respondents believe their behavior compromises the security of their organization

Respondents also selected the three top benefits of mobility:

  • 39%: I can respond to requests from any location
  • 38%: I can be more responsive
  • 38%: I can do work while I’m traveling

“While the report indicates real progress in a number of critical security areas, there is still a lot that can be done to modify behavior and educate employees,” said Midgley. “Ultimately, everyone is responsible for protecting sensitive business information. Knowing there is ambiguity between how different users may approach this requirement, IT leaders need to provide meaningful guidance and training that reinforces this collective accountability.”

*Methodology:

•       The online survey was conducted in January 2015 among 762 North American adults age 18+ who are members of the Springboard America Forum and meet the following criteria:

–      use an employer-owned mobile device

–      work for a company with 50 employees or more

•       Millennials are defined as respondents aged 18-34 years

•       Baby Boomers are defined as respondents aged 55+ years

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