using laptop work

Younger Workers More Relaxed About Cybersecurity Than Older Counterparts, Survey Finds

Different generations approach technology at work in vastly different ways, the report found.

As National Cybersecurity Awareness Month comes to a close, a new survey finds that workers under the age of 30 are more relaxed about cybersecurity practices than their older counterparts, making them potentially vulnerable to phishing and other threats. 

Research conducted by technology services company NTT, released Tuesday, scored survey respondents on best cybersecurity practices. On average, professionals under the age of 30 had a worse average score than workers who were 30 and above, including 46- to 60-year-olds. 

The main difference in attitudes toward cybersecurity across age groups is the willingness of younger workers to use their own devices to complete tasks, according to the research. While 46 percent of under-30s said they were worried that their organization does not have the right cybersecurity skills and resources in-house, they were more accepting of personal devices at work than older employees. 

At the same time, younger workers were slightly more concerned about the Internet of Things (IOT) as a potential cybersecurity risk, with 61 percent of under-30s calling it a risk compared to 59 percent of over-30s. 

“This data suggests that those born and raised in the digital age don’t necessarily follow cybersecurity best practices,” NTT wrote in a press release announcing the survey. “In fact, employees who have spent more time in the workplace gaining knowledge, skills and acquired ‘digital DNA,’ tend to have a stronger security posture than younger workers.”

In addition, the survey found that 39 percent younger employees were likely to consider paying a hacker’s ransom demand, compared to 30 percent of over-30s. The report attributes the difference to a greater impatience among young people to get access to their systems and restart business, or a greater knowledge of bitcoin and cryptocurrencies that are often used to pay ransomware hackers. 

Matt Gyde, the CEO of security at NTT, said the research shows that the workforce has very different approaches and attitudes toward cybersecurity depending on age. He emphasized that cybersecurity must be seen as a responsibility of all employees rather than just the IT department. 

“Businesses must transform their approach to security if they are to engage all generations,” he said in a statement. “Different generations use technology in very different ways and business leaders need to recognize that strong cybersecurity practices for all generations within the business is an enabler and not a barrier. Security leaders should make themselves more approachable and talk the language of business, not IT.” 

About the Author

Haley Samsel is an Associate Content Editor for the Infrastructure Solutions Group at 1105 Media.


  • Live From ISC West 2023: Day 1

    ISC West 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada, has officially begun! Make sure to keep an eye on Security Today’s ISCW Live 2023 page, as well as our associated Twitter accounts—@SecurToday and @CampusSecur—for the latest updates from the show floor at the Venetian Expo. Read Now

    • Industry Events
    • ISC West
  • It Happened Again

    Just yesterday (as of this writing), it happened again. A 28-year-old woman shot her way into a Christian elementary school in Nashville, Tenn., on Monday and killed three children and three adults, according to national news. AP News reports that the victims were three 9-year-old children, a top school administrator, a substitute teacher, and a school custodian Read Now

  • Let's Get to Work

    You are standing at the conference center doors just waiting to get into the exhibit hall. I know you are because I’m standing next to you. This week at ISC West has been three years in the making. Last year was encouraging, and here we are waiting for the Big Show. Read Now

    • Industry Events
    • ISC West
  • Using Modern Technology

    Using Modern Technology

    Workplace violence is a serious and growing challenge for many organizations — including those in the healthcare industry. Read Now

Featured Cybersecurity

New Products

  • PACE® Long Range Ethernet Solutions

    PACE® Long Range Ethernet Solutions

    Altronix introduces the newest addition to its portfolio of PACE® Long Range Ethernet Solutions. 3

  • ComNet CNGE6FX2TX4PoE

    The ComNet cost-efficient CNGE6FX2TX4PoE is a six-port switch that offers four Gbps TX ports that support the IEEE802.3at standard and provide up to 30 watts of PoE to PDs. It also has a dedicated FX/TX combination port as well as a single FX SFP to act as an additional port or an uplink port, giving the user additional options in managing network traffic. The CNGE6FX2TX4PoE is designed for use in unconditioned environments and typically used in perimeter surveillance. 3

  • Paxton10 CORE Cameras

    Paxton10 CORE Cameras

    The new CORE Series cameras feature edge processing for ultimate scalability, built-in edge storage, and plug-and-play installation. The addition of the CORE Series gives installers new hardware, better choice, and more value than ever before. 3