Workplace IT rules, Indians top violators

Mumbai: Seven out of ten young employees frequently ignore infotech policies, and one in four is a victim of identity theft before the age of 30, according to a global study conducted by networking giant Cisco.

"The desire for on-demand access to information is so ingrained in the incoming generation of employees that many young professionals take extreme measures to access the Internet, even if it compromises their company or their own security," said Cisco`s Connected World Technology Report released here today.

"Such behaviour includes secretly using neighbours` wireless connections, sitting in front of businesses to access free Wi-Fi networks and borrowing other people`s devices without supervision."

The world-wide study examines the next generation of workers` demands and behaviour involving network access, mobile device freedom, social media and work lifestyles.

"Employees joining the work force today belong to the `digital generation` and are used to being `connected` at all times. They expect their employers to give them unfettered access to the Internet and also the freedom to use their own devices, for both personal and official purposes," Cisco India CIO & Vice President of IT Globalisation V C Gopalratnam said.

"This study will help organisations get a better understanding of employee perceptions, which in turn will enable them to alter their IT policies to suit both employee and security needs," he said.

These findings explain how this next-generation workforce`s behaviour heightens personal and corporate risk amid a complex threat landscape, a correlation that is spotlighted in more depth in the Cisco 2011 Annual Security Report, which was also released today.

"About 32 per cent college students surveyed in India have experienced identity theft. When applied to a broader pool of people, about 51 per cent college students in the country said they know of friends or family members who have experienced identity theft," the study said.

Though about 87 per cent of employees in India are aware of security issues when accessing corporate networks from remote locations, only about 40 per cent students surveyed confirmed lack of concern for privacy.

The report said about 79 per cent of employees surveyed in India flout the company`s IT policy all the time, which is the highest score in all regions surveyed.

In the month of September 2011, India had the highest percentage of spam volume (13.9%). Vietnam came in second with 8.0 per cent and Russia took the third-place spot with 7.8 per cent, the report added.