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Kaspersky Security Report: Recruit Millennials or Suffer the Consequences

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A new study says that millennials will play a key role in the fight against cybercrime —  for better or worse.

Kaspersky Lab survey of 12,000 consumer and IT respondents indicates that people who are under 25 years of age tend to be more savvy and comfortable with cybersecurity.

But more importantly, the study concluded that the employers are not encouraging young people to get involved in that role.

“Industry and education must do more to recruit the younger generation of cyber professionals and the warning signs are clear,” said Eugene Kaspersky, CEO of Kaspersky Lab. “The frequency and profile of teenage cyberattacks is growing with each generation’s competency, as well as with the ready availability of ‘malware as a service.’”

Millennials apparently boast familiarity with cyberattacks. The study found that 57 percent think hacking is an impressive skill and 31 percent know how to hide their IP address. Moreover, 27 percent of them said they have pondered a career in cybersecurity.

But the survey noted that teenage hackers have played key roles in recent cyberattacks, including those on Sony and Target. Kirill Slavin, who manages the U.K. and Ireland for Kaspersky Lab, said cybercrime is “no longer just a boardroom headache.”

“As recent attacks on Sony Entertainment and Ashley Madison highlight, where very private data was made public, cybercrime threatens to tear at the heart of both public and private life if it is not addressed,” he said.

Kaspersky said employers are not taking advantage of millennials’ interest in and talent for security, often lacking entry-level roles.{ad}

Most of the hiring (72 percent) comes from within companies and involves internal training. Some 27 percent of respondents said organizations needed to offer more “training and graduate schemes.” Eugene Kaspersky said the entire cybersecurity industry bears the onus for recruiting young minds.

“There is a skills gap that needs to be addressed by both industry and education if we are to enthuse young people about entering the cybersecurity workplace,” he said. “This generation is closer to technology than any before, and will run rings around the industry soon enough, escalating the threat of cybercrime if they are not brought onside and given opportunities to blossom.”

Check out Lorna Garey’s weekly security report for information on the recent DDoS attack. And for more information on dealing with the cybersecurity talent shortage, download this report.


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