Millennials might pose as grave a cybersecurity risk to enterprise networks as cyber criminals, according to one recent study. As more millennials enter the federal workplace, they bring along technology preferences and bad behavior that threaten the security of information technology systems, reports cybersecurity firm Forcepoint, which commissioned the research.

Results from the survey, conducted by LaunchTech, call for quick action to prevent a generational shift from undoing the cybersecurity safeguards that have been put into place. Millennials, roughly those born between 1977 and 1994, make up about 25 percent of the federal work force, but are expected to represent nearly 75 percent by 2025. Baby boomers, those born between 1946 and 1964, are cautious online, while the younger work force is more likely to abandon caution in exchange for digital expediency, the report says.

“Millennial Rising: ‘Digital Warriors’ Introduce Risk to Federal IT Systems” details behaviors that are characterized as alarming. For example, many millennials reported using personal devices for work and play, with nearly 25 percent downloading company files and third-party apps to the devices to increase productivity without notifying information technology personnel. Millennials frequently use the same password for multiple systems and aps and share them, even after having experienced a breach; 33 percent use secure passwords for all accounts, compared with 53 percent of baby boomers.


Reprinted from SIGNAL Magazine, (2016, December), “Millennials May Present Insider CyberThreat,” with permission of Signal Magazine. Copyright (2016). All rights reserved.