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Young workers ignore IT policy and 'aren't responsible' for protecting data and kit

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IT policy is ignored by seven out of ten young employees, while many of them believe it needs to be modified to address their demands for flexible working.

According to the third chapter of the Cisco Connected World report and the its Annual Security Report – which surveys more than 2,800 college students and young professionals in 14 countries – 33 per cent of the sample believe they are not doing anything wrong in ignoring official IT policy.

One in five (22 per cent) cited the need to access unauthorised programs and applications to get their job done, while 19 per cent admitted the policies are not enforced. Some (18 per cent) said they do not have time to think about policies when they are working, and others either said adhering to the policies is not convenient (16 per cent), they forget to do so (15 per cent) or they are not supervised (14 per cent).

Also, 61 per cent believed they are not responsible for protecting information and devices, saying that IT and/or service providers are accountable.

Rebecca Jacoby, CIO at Cisco, said: “The role of IT in any business is to successfully bring together technology architectures and business architectures. As workforces become increasingly mobile, the shift in IT infrastructure means that security and policy are no longer an ‘add-on', but the highest priority.

“These findings indicate a real need for a thoughtful and strategic approach for the types of IT services offered while taking into consideration the established processes and culture of any organisation to create stronger, trusted relationships between employees and IT departments.”

John N. Stewart, chief security officer at Cisco, said: “The findings provide valuable insights into how we must adapt IT and security policies to enable mobility and productivity while still managing risk. Done well, security enables mobility and social media access to provide the necessary productivity boost.”

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