Generational Security

Recently on a listserve the topic came up of the new generation of computer users in a firm.   The ones that embrace the browser.  The one that embrace the spreadsheet without training.  The ones that understand email and calendaring without having to tell them where the send button is and what the paperclip is.  The ones that post to their myspace page and add their friends to their IM all day.  The ones that go to their online web based emails…..see where I’m going with this? 

When you hire someone, there is an interesting risk factor that one should realize from the get go.  Those employees of the ‘older’ less tech generation will use the tools you give them and need training to efficiently use them.  The younger generation don’t need the training to be efficient, they need monitoring and blocking to be efficient. 

Assume from the get go when you hire someone from one of the generations that embraces technology that they will bring their email in your door even if it’s not in your Outlook.  Plan on the fact that they will know what Facebook and Twitter and Myspace and Instant Messenger is all about.  Ensure that your security policy has in writing what your stance is on these uses of your assets are.  Plan for the risk they bring to your firm.  If you want to limit the access to only during lunch, then use tools like firewalls to set appropriate policies.

Amy Babinchak has always had a great philosophy about such things… ask yourself what access and web sites to they truly need to go to? 

Bottom line, plan accordingly.  Your employees are on IM.  They are on Facebook.  They are on twitter.  They are on Craigslist.  They are on ebay.  They are on….. you get the idea…. is that what you want them to be doing?

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