Meet the Millennials – Our Next Working Generation

Meet the Millennials – Our Next Working Generation

It’s now 2018 and there are officially more Millennials than Baby Boomers in the workforce.

After little web crawling it is clear there is much ambiguity when it comes to millennials and their impact on a company’s cyber security. A quick scroll through Google finds clickbait captions such as ‘Millennials are the biggest cyber security risk in you company’  right next to contradicting titles like ‘Millennials are the most cyber secure generation’. So which of the two rings true?

Millennials are the first generation to grow up learning with computers and mobile devices. They are also the first generation to enter the workplace with an intrinsic ability to pick up and handle multiple online platforms services and tools. Additionally, they are more likely to adopt new technologies to promote information sharing, productivity and easy communication in the workplace. However, there are rising concerns in the ways in which data is being shared due to their frequent use of these connected devices. Should this ‘relaxed’ and constant use of digital platforms be a cause for concern for businesses? Some believe this has developed a level of trust in technology that may leave them vulnerable to online threats and attacks.

However, perhaps this innate connection with the digital world leads to higher awareness of the concerns associated with cyber security. Is it possible that the reason millennials are so at ease and comfortable online is due to their increased knowledge of the risks to look out for and to avoid?

According to Entrepreneur Magazine, millennials are one of the most concerned generations when it comes to online security. Nearly three quarters believe they are targets for hackers so they go above and beyond when it comes to protecting themselves. A majority of surveyed millennials use three to five passwords for their accounts and are always on the lookout for new tools to help them protect their privacy.

Millennials have witnessed the effects of large scale cyber attacks, and often themselves have been hacked. They innately understand the perils of the cloud and the vulnerability of information. From a young age, they have been warned of the messages sent to them, and are far less likely to fall for crude phishing schemes than their elders. This early exposure to the importance of cyber security has taught this generation to be safer.

This generation are beginning to seize higher managerial positions with increased responsibility, which could lead to a positive influence in prioritising cyber security within businesses. Millennials may be the catalyst the board room needs to ensure information security is heightened and all employees are well educated in its importance.

It will be interesting to observe how this younger generation of workers begin to shape the industry as their career paths develop and take on managerial responsibility, with growing influence toward board room level. To the average cyber security professional, are they just another end user creating risk for the organisation, or is there opportunity to get buy in for better business practices when it comes to managing cyber risk?

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