Unlike in past decades, today’s employees have very different IT experiences and expectations according to generation. I’ve talked before about the importance of understanding if your potential customer has a digital native (raised in today’s highly digital and technology driven environment) or a digital immigrant (tech skills learned later in life) for a decision maker because it changes the perceived value and expectations of an IT engagement. But what about the customer’s end user base? How does that impact you as solution provider?
According to a study for Cisco, a Gen Y end user base should make you more diligent about security policies. The survey reveals that while 53% of IT professionals trusted employees to follow the rules set for using devices on the corporate network, as many as 77% of the 18- to 30-year-olds (Gen Y) admit to ignoring IT policies. Why?
“Generation Y workers are stretching the boundaries of work, family and social life. This report provides insight into the present-day challenges that companies face as they strive to balance security needs with the habits of the next generation of workers, who are blending work and social life by being constantly connected,” Ian Foddering, CTO and technical director for Cisco in the UK, told Computer Weekly in this article about the report.
Cisco argues that the lack of awareness around the unwillingness of Gen Y workers to comply with corporate IT security policies can easily bring down a corporation in terms of breaches, hacks and corporate espionage.
“As security stakes rise with new communications options – such as remote working, mobile, cloud, virtual workspaces, application explosion and BYOD –employee education and enforcement of policies will be important with this next generation of workers,” said Foddering in the article, adding that it was up to IT departments and solution providers to stay on top of this issue if they have any hope of truly securing an organization’s environment.
So you’re takeaway? Find out the demographics of your customers and make sure to factor extra layers of monitoring and training for those end user groups that are digital natives. And remember, those users aren’t ignoring the rules because they don’t care; they simply are unaware of the gaps caused in security when basic rules such as evolving passwords aren’t met. Help them understand, ask them to play as part of the team, and you’ll do fine.