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New workforce more likely than ever to contravene BYOD rules

Younger users are increasingly more likely to contravene rules surrounding bring your own device (BYOD) policies, despite feeling that the provisions "empower" them, according to a new study.

The research, carried out by network security firm Fortinet, found that employees aged 21-32 showed a 42 per cent increase in the willingness to break usage rules compared to a similar survey conducted last year.

While 45 per cent agreed that BYOD policies 'empower' them, 51 per cent also said they would contravene any policy banning the use of personal devices at work. This is clear evidence that BYOD has become deeply-ingrained in the culture of the modern business. In other words, it's here to stay.

The study also investigated the extent to which the so-called 'Generation Y' participants were the victims of cybercrime, and how their levels of threat literacy have developed since 2012. The survey polled 3,200 young employees from 20 different countries, and found some worrying security trends emerging.

Of users who have some form of personal cloud service (e.g. Dropbox), 70 per cent have used their personal accounts for work purposes. Of these, 12 per cent admitted to storing work passwords in a personal cloud, 16 per cent stored financial information, 22 per cent critical private documents like contracts or business plans, and a shocking 33 per cent stored customer data.

Perhaps more worryingly, 14 per cent of respondents said they wouldn't tell an employer if a personal device they used for work purposes had been compromised.

The researchers have called for a greater level of threat literacy among younger employees. They found that up to 52 per cent of participants appeared completely uneducated on threats like APTs, DDoS and Botnets.

However, there is reason for optimism. The study also found that there is a direct correlation between BYOD usage and threat literacy. Those respondents who more frequently used their own device for work were also those with the widest knowledge of potential threats.

Image: Flickr (Victor1558)