Gmail generation threaten corporate security

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Employees under 25 are increasingly working around business email restrictions by using personal accounts to send important documents.

Restrictions on corporate email have driven tech-savvy employees to work around the system, using personal email accounts to jump over hurdles and putting company data at risk.

Some 85 per cent of workers under 25 – dubbed the ‘Gmail Generation’ – use personal email for work purposes, according to research by Mimecast.

This means a large amount of intellectual property from businesses has ended up stored on public servers without the company’s knowledge and in turn could lead to data breaches.

“With social networks and personal email a ubiquitous part of their life, the way email is used by this demographic is bleeding into the workplace… so it is not surprising that expectations for workplace technology are shifting accordingly,” said Nathaniel Borenstein, chief scientist at Mimecast.

As much as the move may be careless, it isn't intentionally malicious, according to Borenstein who suggested that workers only took these measures to ensure their “productivity and flexibility.”

More than half of the under 25s said they would not use personal accounts if they had an work mailbox with unlimited storage.

The report found 36 per cent of incoming email was not work related and also discovered more than 300 work emails were sent via personal accounts per person every year - half of these with attachments.

“Unprecedented change is afoot as a new generation of people who have had lifelong exposure to technology enter the workforce, bringing with them unique challenges in the provision and management of email and other technologies for companies," Borenstein added.

“The proliferation of social networks and mobile devices has transformed the communications landscape within companies; employees increasingly mix and match technologies, using devices and platforms interchangeably to find workarounds... Employers need to work out what they are going to do in the face of this cultural shift.”

This article originally appeared at itpro.co.uk

Copyright © ITPro, Dennis Publishing


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