Recent research has found that people over 30 in our society are actually more likely to adopt cybersecurity best practices than their younger coworkers. A specific study conducted by the security division of NTT found that people born in the digital age don’t necessarily follow cybersecurity best practices. Employees who have spent longer in the workplace gaining digital knowledge and skills may have an advantage over the younger generation (who grew up with these skills) when it comes to cybersecurity. Keep reading for all the findings! 

Research Results

This specific report identified good and bad practices for organizations, and ranked age groups across 17 key criteria. The results? People under 30 years old scored an average of 2.3 in terms of cybersecurity best practices. People aged 30-45 scored a 2.9, and people aged 46-60 scored a 3.0. 

The study revealed that people under 30 are a lot more laid back about cybersecurity responsibilities in general—they adopt different working practices, and are expected to be productive and agile at work when using their own devices. Despite this observation, half of the study respondents think that responsibility for cybersecurity is 100% on the company’s IT department

Generational Differences

The results of this study revealed some key generational differences in people’s approaches to cybersecurity. People under 30 are more likely to consider paying a ransom demand to a hacker than people over 30—this could, in theory, be due to impatience to get things back up and running, or perhaps a greater knowledge of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. 

46% of people under 30 are worried that their company doesn’t have the right cybersecurity skills and resources in-house. In addition to this, people under 30 estimate that a company could recover from a security breach in just 62 days, six days less than the time estimated by their older colleagues. 

This may come as no surprise, but younger workers are much more accepting of using personal devices at work, and don’t consider themselves a security risk. However, the study did reveal that the younger generation is more concerned about the Internet of Things (IoT) being a potential risk. 

81% of people under 30 think that cybersecurity should be an item on the boardroom agenda, while 85% of over-30s think the same thing. 

Cybersecurity Best Practices for Your Business

So what are the best practices? Companies have to work to bridge the gap between generations, who all have different perceptions and ideas when it comes to digital security. Security culture has to include every generation, as well as be supported by a diverse range of employees. 

It’s important to build a panel of younger employees, and to listen to their views on cybersecurity. Younger employees work at their best in motivated, productive work environments, where they’re most likely to buy into the desired culture and behaviors of your company. Security should be designed to enable business, not to limit it. 

Make cybersecurity everyone’s business—not just the IT department’s. Security leaders should be approachable to employees. Wherever skills shortages are most prevalent in your business, support learning programs, mentoring, and even consider external support. 

And, most importantly, educate. The most effective thing you can do for your employees and your company is keep everyone up-to-date on all things security. Find ways to make it fun and accessible to all! 

When’s the last time you updated your cybersecurity? If it’s been a while, give us a call. We’ll make sure everything is running smoothly.

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