Over-30s better at cyber security than younger colleagues, study finds

Published on: 23 Oct 2019

Digital natives may be a little too relaxed about cyber security.

Employees over the age of 30 may be better at adopting cyber security best practice than their younger counterparts, according to a new study.

The research report from global technology services company NTT Ltd found that just because Millennials and Gen Z workers were so-called digital natives, they weren't always safe around technology security.

Indeed, 52 per cent of younger workers were risk-takers and would pay a ransom demand to a hacker - despite advice to the contrary - compared to just 26 per cent of over-30s.

Meanwhile, 58 per cent of over-30s were keen to keep building skills and resources in-house to deal with security threats, while the same figure for under-30s was just over a quarter.

Furthermore, half of under-30s thought cyber security responsibilities rest solely on IT departments, suggesting there may be a blasé attitude to the safety of technology not present among those who had to learn new digital skills as they arose.

NTT spokesperson Azeem Aleem said the study is a good example of why security awareness training should be mandatory.

"It's clear from our research that a multi-generational workforce leads to very different attitudes to cyber security. This is a challenge when organisations need to engage across all age groups, from the oldest employee to the youngest," he added.

Earlier this year, chief executive of cyber security enabler ReliaQuest Brian Murphy recommended training should come in the form of programs that simulate real scenarios and allow participants to leverage their skills in order to learn more about real-world security vulnerabilities.