Young professionals raise corporate IT risks, study finds

Friday, December 16, 2011

Seven of 10 young professionals frequently ignore IT policies in their companies, and one of four has been a victim of identity theft before the age of 30, according to Cisco's (Nasdaq: CSCO) Connected World Technology Report.

The study found that next-generation employees - a demographic group that grew up with the internet and has a lifestyle that mixes personal activities and commercial activities in the workplace - raise personal and corporate risks with alarming attitudes toward policies.

According to the study, many of these employees take extreme measures to access internet, even if that compromises their security or that of their company.

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Some 31% of respondents said social networks have been blocked in the workplace, and 10% said IT policies forbid the use of iPads and tablets, which presents a challenge in light of these devices' increasing popularity.

About 36% of employees said they do adhere to IT department policies in their companies on access to social media, devices and remote access.

Most of the surveyed employees (67%) said IT policies need to be modified to respond to the real life demands for greater labor flexibility.

The next-generation workforce is looking for more open access to information and social media, said Cisco chief security officer John N Stewart. And when done well, security allows mobility and social media access to provide the necessary productivity boost.

Security measures seem to be a key issue, but 61% of the surveyed employees placed this responsibility on IT.

The Cisco Connected World Technology Report included surveys of more than 2,800 university students and young professionals in 14 countries with the largest economies worldwide, including Brazil and Mexico.