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Gen Y Blows Off Mobile Security Policy

Twenty-somethings worldwide expect to BYOD, and most say it's a right, not a privilege
Twenty-somethings expect to be able to BYOD to work: One in three say they would disregard their company's security policy if it forbade them to use their personal mobile devices at the office.

A survey conducted by Vision Critical on behalf of Fortinet between May 31 and June 12 asked more than 3,800 fully employed 20- to 29-year-olds worldwide with their own smartphones, tablets, or laptops about their views on bring-your-own device (BYOD) trends. About 75 percent of them say BYOD is commonplace, and 55 percent say using their mobile device at work is a "right" versus a "privilege."

Some 36 percent said they either have or would break company policy banning BYODs, and 30 percent also say they have or would do the same for any unapproved applications at work. Nearly 70 percent say they are interested in creating and running custom apps at work.

The draw of BYOD is access to text messaging and social networks, the survey found. Around 35 percent say they use social media every day, and 47 percent use SMS.

Interestingly, 42 percent of the Gen-Y users say BYOD's biggest risk to an organization is data loss and exposure to malicious cyberthreats. And 66 percent say they are responsible for the security of their devices, not their companies, while 22 percent say it's their companies' job.

Patrice Perche, international vice president of international sales and support for Fortinet, says the survey shows the big challenges for organizations trying to balance BYOD and security. “While users want and expect to use their own devices for work, mostly for personal convenience, they do not want to hand over responsibility for security on their own devices to the organization," Perche says. "Within such an environment, organizations must regain control of their IT infrastructure by strongly securing both inbound and outbound access to the corporate network and not just implement mobile device management or ‘MDM.’”

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