Another report about employers, employees, and network usage, of 200 corporate IT folks in the U.S. and Canada. The good news: Employees under 30 “tend to be computer savvy and are brimming with new ideas.” The bad news: 50% of those surveyed said that Gen Y employees were either “a major security concern” or “somewhat of a security concern” because of their tendency “to frequent social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace.” Gen Y employees, they fear, expose company computer networks to viruses through unsafe downloading and imperil proprietary information through profligate personal disclosures.
The first concern seems reasonable but I wonder about the second. I’m always surprised by the extent to which many Facebook users reveal personal details as if they lived their lives on Page 6 of The New York Post. The article, however, provided no link between such openness/exhibitionism (take your pick) and revelation of company secrets. The money quote on this point falls short:
Users of social-networking sites tend to be unusually trusting and willing to share information, said Scott Mitic, chief executive of TrustedID in Redwood City, which offers identity-theft protection services. While they would never dream of leaving their trash cans out when going on vacation, they often seem unconcerned about revealing details of planned trips on social-networking sites. “I can tell you right now of my friends on Facebook whose house I should be breaking into,” he said. “I know who’s in Russia now. I know who’s on a business trip to L.A.”
Okay, but there’s no disclosure of state secrets. I’d expect an anecdote or two, at least, supporting this concern. Without data it’s a back-handed slap grounded in Gen Y behavior stereotypes.