North American Gen Y workers seen as potential IT security threats

According to a recent Intel-sponsored survey on Generation Y workers, North American IT professionals view younger workers as having a positive effect on the company, while at the same time, they’re also seen as security concerns within the business as well.

The survey, titled, IT professionals’ response to Generation Y users, was conducted by independent research firm, Penn, Schoen and Berland Associates on Intel’s (Nasdaq: INTC) behalf. The survey collected information from 200 IT professionals via online interviews from the U.S. and Canada, taking place between August 22 – 29.

The questions and findings involved Generation Y users, which were classified as anyone being under the age of 28. Elaine Mah, Canadian business marketing manager for Intel Canada, said of the total amount of IT professionals that were surveyed, about 40 per cent of them were from Canada.

“On the whole, IT professionals had a positive perception of Gen Y workers,” Mah said. “Seventy-five per cent see Gen Y users as positively impacting their company because of things such as their creativity and enthusiasm.”

However, although 75 per cent of those surveyed had this positive view towards the younger workforce, Mah said 50 per cent of IT pros view Gen Yers as a security concern to their business. Because Gen Yers have for the most part, grown up with access to and have had some experience with technology, Mah said they tend to be rather “fearless” when it comes to trying out new things on the Internet.

“That’s a bit of a double edged sword for IT pros,” Mah said. “Their comfort level brings security concerns to IT because they have no fear in playing with the technology. They want to be always on and always connected.”

Many users are simply not aware of the dangers associated with downloading applications from social networking Web sites such as Facebook and MySpace, Mah continued. That’s why she says it’s important for Intel channel partners to talk to end-users to explain the risks associated with computing and surfing the Internet within a business environment.

Lisa Shepherd, CEO of Toronto-based Mezzanine Consulting, a market intelligence and outsource marketing company, said within her organization, a lot of work is confidential.

“A lot of our work is confidential so we have o make sure information isn’t getting out there,” Shepherd said. “Because information is much more public than in the past, some Gen Y workers are unaware of how their reputations are easily accessed in the public domain.”

By utilizing Intel’s vPro technology, end-users are able to maintain, manage and protect their business PCs. PCs can be managed over a wired or corporate wireless network, or even outside of the corporate firewall via a wired LAN connection, which provides IT with more flexibility, without having to compromise on security.

“Especially when moving into a rough economic condition next year, it’s important for partners to understand that business infrastructures are being maintained and updated now that Gen Y workers are coming into the workplace,” Mah said.

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Maxine Cheung
Maxine Cheung
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