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A study by NTT shows that employees over the age of 30 are more inclined to handle cyber security carefully than their younger colleagues. The study examined the behaviour of employees on the basis of seventeen criteria.

Employees under the age of 30 achieved a score of 2.3, while employees between the ages of 30 and 45 achieved a score of 2.9. The group of 45 to 60 scored a 3.0.

NTT states that the study shows that people who grew up in the digital world do not necessarily handle the technology more safely. According to the study, employees with a great deal of experience have accumulated so-called ‘digital DNA’, a collection of skills that they have acquired through years of working with certain technologies.

The research also shows that younger groups deal with cyber security in a relatively relaxed way. For example, half of them feel that security responsibilities lie entirely with IT departments, which is six percent more than for other age groups.

More generational differences

NTT’s research shows a number of further important differences between age groups. Younger groups, for example, estimate that companies can recover faster from a cyberattack, namely in 62 days on average. Older employees estimate this at an average of 68 days. The group under thirty is also more inclined to pay ransom money in the case of ransomware, as 39 percent of them indicate this. In the case of the group over thirty, this is only 30 percent.

Another striking result is the fact that younger employees much more often use personal devices for their work. 70 percent of the group under 30 see this as a security risk, where this is 79 percent for the older employees. Older employees are also more likely to think that cybersecurity should be on the agenda of management. This is 85 percent, compared to 81 percent for the younger group.

Young people, on the other hand, are a little more likely to have concerns about the Internet of Things: 61 percent of them claim this. Among the older employees, 59 percent of them are concerned about this. Young people also stated that they are more worried about cybersecurity skills within their company: 46 percent said this, compared to 42 percent of the employees over 30.