The Millennial Security Riskjacob Evans
Surprised that Mark Zuckerberg had his Twitter and Pinterest accounts hacked? Well don’t be. That’s typical millennial risk taking behavior for you. Are they lazy, careless or relaxed? Surprisingly, it might be that they demand perfection. Either way, it’s clear that millennial security risk is a serious concern especially among enterprise and government entities.
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We recently caught up with OptioLabs’ Senior Director of Research, Hamilton Turner, who shared his insight on the subject. “There are basically two problems,” said Turner. “On one side you have the millennials who engage in riskier online behavior. The other concern is that government agencies are having trouble hiring those from the younger generation.”
Turner believes that millennials were raised in a digital world where they feel free to borrow and share. Blurring the limits between one’s personal and work space, this ingrained behavior creates security gaps.
It’s more than just an industry insider’s gut feeling. Research proves that millennials are more likely to download an app without letting IT know as compared to their Gen X or Baby Boomer counterparts. Up to 30 percent of those born in the 80s and 90s access work files through an app that IT doesn’t know about.
According to Turner, government agencies meanwhile are having trouble replacing Baby Boomers with younger employees. One of the reasons may be differences in how they handle online security. Millennials don’t seem to care to change. So they may seek work where security standards are either less strict or have more innovative solutions.
“Millennials don’t accept imperfection. If it doesn’t work for them, they go elsewhere. Since they always have many software options to choose from, they’ve grown accustomed to perfection.”
Not Just A Tech Problem
The Office of Personnel Management hack reveals the seriousness and urgency of the problem. When the personal data of 21.5 million people gets compromised, it’s clear that current solutions are inadequate.
According to Turner, this is not an issue reserved for only technical departments. Due to today’s interconnectedness, the risk spreads across the board. “You can imagine many back doors open to sensitive data left open by users who are in non-tech positions but using unsecured devices,” warns Turner. The OPM leak, for instance, affected many other agencies that had tighter security.
Security Is A Spectrum
“You don’t want a secure vs. a non-secure phone, but rather a device that can adapt to any situation. If you’re in Starbucks using an unsecure Wi-Fi, the phone should be able to detect this and notify you.” Turner also notes that commercial solutions can be adapted for government agencies. He concludes, “The best solutions should work in any context.”
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About Hamilton Turner
As Senior Director of Research for mobile security firm OptioLabs, Hamilton Turner is responsible for analyzing security announcements, managing the incubation of new products, and providing technical insight for potential business partnerships or acquisitions.
Hamilton Turner will be a featured speaker at this year’s CyberMaryland Conference.