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Millennials Pose New Cybersecurity Threat in Government

According to a new study by cybersecurity developer Forcepoint, the increase in millennials in the federal workforce poses new cybersecurity risks and challenges for federal IT systems due to the nature of the generation’s relationship with technology.

It is already a challenge to recruit millennials to jobs that restrict access to social media platforms, with 60 percent of millennials saying they would not be interested in a position with those constraints. However, the way millennials engage with technology could put federal systems at risk. Of the 670 individuals surveyed for this report, over 40 percent said they use the same password on multiple systems and only a third said they used secure passwords for all accounts. Half of those surveyed also acknowledged having a cyber-breach or infection in the past two years.

In addition to password security issues, at least a third of respondents admitted to installing third-party productivity apps and accessed work systems after hours.

“Beyond the security of the apps and devices employees bring to federal networks, agencies should also look at employee motivations, taking into account both productivity gains and potential security risks,” said Forcepoint’s Chief Strategy Officer and Federal Division President, Ed Hammersla. “The data resulting from the survey highlights important attitudes and risk factors that can help agencies adapt cybersecurity programs with millennials in mind, fully capitalizing on their creativity and energy while preventing them from becoming accidental insider threats.”

The paper makes a number of recommendations for how to tackle this new challenge, including encouraging agency leaders to set a consistent cybersecurity tone with employees and contractors, provide training on appropriate use and update policies that have become outdated.

Check out the full report on the Forcepoint website.

 

Posted in General News

Tags: cybersecurity, Federal IT Strategy, Federal IT, millennials

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