Millennials bring a lot to the workplace, whether they're pushing the boundaries of company culture or forcing companies to modernize. But there are a few risks associated with hiring recent grads -- especially if it's their first job in the industry -- and one of those risks is data security.
In a recent study from the Ponemon Institute in partnership with Experian, which surveyed over 16,000 people at companies with data protection and privacy training programs, 66 percent of respondents cited employees as the biggest security threat to their company. And 55 percent said that their organization had, at some point, experienced a "security incident or data breach due to a malicious or negligent employee," according to the report.
With new grads entering the workforce, it's time to make your security policies a priority in the hiring and onboarding process. According to David Wagner, CEO of ZixCorp and Brandon Rogers, Senior Vice President of Product Strategy and Operations at Blue Coat, companies need to take a multi-step approach to help prevent their employees -- especially new hires -- from becoming their biggest security threat.
Strike a balance
One of the biggest reasons employees try to skirt security measures is to save time and be more productive. It's great that they want to be more effective and productive, but if they're using tools outside the eyes of IT, sensitive data could be put at risk. Business leaders need to find a way to encourage a modern environment without sacrificing some level of regulation over corporate data and security measures.
"I view this like a university or academic environment. How do you make the [office] a highly collaborative, fun and easy place to get things done -- a 'great place to work' -- and balance that with the control requirements to protect your IP, PHI, PII and other customer-centric data?" says Rogers.
Millennials are accustomed to using intuitive hardware and software aimed at making their lives easier. And it's not just millennials who reach for third-party options if the in-house services IT offers are too slow -- sometimes entire departments will bypass IT in order to get the tools they need.
Rogers points to a Blue Coat study that found 40 percent of IT spending fell outside of IT, and that it was a result of employees choosing to find alternative solutions when the available resources from IT didn't live up to their expectations.
Businesses need to find a way to secure corporate data without driving employees to seek alternative apps and programs. "Many corporate environments may feel cumbersome and slow for these 'digital natives' to work within, and their expectation of convenience simply may be at odds with the needs of the organization's security," says Rogers.
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