Is your IT policy Gen Y compliant?

Gen Y users do not like too many restrictions with regards to how they use IT

Corporate cultures and company policies are being tested as Generation Y graduates from college and enters the workforce in greater numbers. Corporate IT policies which once stood the test of time, are not being adhered to as diligently and Gen Y is constantly pushing the limits of how these policies are defined are implemented.

As per the latest Cisco Connected World Technology Report (CCWTR), security risks are on the rise in businesses because employees are starting to insist on my way work lifestyles in which their devices, work and online behavior mix with their personal lives virtually anywhere. The most visible impact of this work lifestyle appears to be on corporate IT policies which are witnessing growing instances of non-compliance. According to the survey:

Nine out of 10 (90%) IT professionals said they have a policy governing the use of certain devices at work, yet only two of five Gen Y respondents said they were aware of such a policy.

To make matters worse, four out of five Gen Y respondents who were aware of ITs policies said they do not obey those policies.

IT professionals know that many employees dont follow the rules, but they dont understand how prevalent it is. In reality, more than half (52%) of IT professionals globally believe their employees obey IT policies, but nearly 3 out of 4 (71%) of the Gen Y workforce say that they dont obey policies. In India, 41 per cent of the respondents say that their company policy forbids them to use company-issued devices for non-work activities. However, 56 per cent of them admitted that they do not follow those rules all the time.

Two of three (66%) Gen Y respondents globally said IT has no right to monitor their online behavior, even if that behavior is conducted using company-issued devices on corporate networks. Fifty per cent of respondents in India believe companies have no right to monitor their online activity on company-issued devices, saying it is none of their business.

The aversion to employer IT monitoring was greater than the aversion Gen Y respondents had to retail sites monitoring their online behavior. In other words, Gen Y is less averse to complete strangers at retail sites monitoring their activity than their own employers IT teamsteams that are there to protect them and their companies information. Fifty per cent of the respondents in India were comfortable with companies sharing their information and monitoring their online activity for sales/marketing purposes.

In light of these trends, IT managers need to do a serious re-think on their existing IT policies and adopt measures which not only ensure a secure IT environment while also catering to the demands of the Gen Y workforce.
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