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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Cisco shows the global picture of information security

Cisco released findings from two global studies that provide a vivid picture of the rising security challenges that businesses, IT departments and individuals face, particularly as employees become more mobile in blending work and personal lifestyles throughout their waking hours.  Despite popular assumptions that security risks increase as a person’s online activity becomes shadier, the highest concentration of online security threats do not target pornography, pharmaceutical or gambling sites as much as they do legitimate destinations visited by mass audiences, such as major search engines, retail sites and social media outlets. Security risks rise in businesses because many employees adopt “my way” work lifestyles in which their devices, work and online behavior mix with their personal lives virtually anywhere – in the office, at home and everywhere in between.  The business security implications of this “consumerization” trend are magnified by a second set of findings from the Cisco Connected World Technology Report (CCWTR), which provides insight into the attitudes of the world’s next generation of workers, Generation Y.

In fact, more Generation Y workers globally said they feel more comfortable sharing personal information with retail sites than with their own employers’ IT departments – departments that are paid to protect employee identities and devices. As Generation Y graduates from college and enters the workforce in greater numbers, they test corporate cultures and policies with expectations of social media freedom, device choice, and mobile lifestyles that the generations before them never demanded. As the first chapter of the Connected World Technology Report indicated in December, Gen Y is constantly checking social media, email and text updates, whether it’s in bed (3 of 4 surveyed globally), at the dinner table (almost half), in the bathroom (1 of 3), or driving (1 of 5).

Nine of 10 (90 percent) IT professionals surveyed said they have a policy governing the use of certain devices at work, yet only two of five Gen Y respondents said they were aware of such a policy. IT professionals know that many employees don’t follow the rules, but they don’t understand how prevalent it is: More than half (52 percent) of IT professionals globally believe their employees obey IT policies, but nearly 3 out of 4 (71 percent) of the Gen Y workforce say that they don’t obey policies. In other words, Gen Y is less averse to complete strangers at retail sites monitoring their activity than their own employers’ IT teams – teams that are there to protect them and their companies’ information.

Link: http://www.net-security.org/secworld.php?id=14334

Posted on 01/31
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