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Generation Y Spells Trouble for BYOD Policies

By Daniel Santa Cruz
October 22, 2013 - News

New research by Fortinet shows that a growing number of Generation Y employees are more willing to breach corporate policies regarding the use of their personal devices.

Many are violating policies by uploading company content to personal clouds and using new technologies like smart watches, Google Glass and connected cars that are not regulated by bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies. And by doing so, these workers are more susceptible to becoming victims of cybercrimes.

There was a 42 percent increase in willingness to break company policy on personal device usage based on a 20-country survey of 3,200 Generation Y employees throughout the month of October 2013, compared to a similar survey also conducted by Fortinet last year.

Even though respondents were generally positive about their respective company's BYOD policy, 51 percent said they would go against any policy that bars the use of personal devices at work or for work purposes. A little more than one-third (36 percent) of respondents use personal cloud storage accounts such as DropBox for work purposes and claim that they would break any rules that were to be put in place to stop it. Almost half (48 percent) wouldn't comply if emerging technologies such as Google Glass and smart watches were to be banned in the workplace in the near future.

"It's worrying to see policy contravention so high and so sharply on the rise, as well as the high instances of Generation Y users being victims of cybercrime," said Jon Madison, vice president of marketing at Fortinet. "On a positive side, however, 88 percent of the respondents accept that they have an obligation to understand the security risks by using their own devices. Educating employees on the threat landscape and its possible impact is another key aspect for ensuring an organization's IT security."

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