'Office Junior' your biggest security threat

The kids today!
Written by Will Sturgeon, Contributor

The kids today!

It's long been claimed that a company's own staff pose the greatest security threat to its IT - but now that has been broken down further to point the finger of blame at the office junior - the weakest link in the security chain.

Independent research conducted on behalf of SurfControl has revealed that almost half the HR and IT departments surveyed believe it is junior positions which expose the company to the greatest threat.

Bored receptionists with time on their hands or temping students with little concern for the company or their long-term future there are far more prone to opening unsolicited attachments or using file-sharing services such as Kazaa, according to SurfControl.

Simon Perry, vice president of security strategy at CA, said: "Obviously it's a generalisation to say all juniors add more risk. That said, a 'culture of security' is just as important as a 'technology implementation of security'. That culture comes a lot from staff respecting the company and wishing to protect it as their own. I find that juniors - and especially temps - don't necessarily share that sense of ownership."

However, rather than retroactively blaming young staff, who in many instances will not even have been properly informed of email and internet policy, many would claim it is a company's responsibility to better protect its network through education and administration.

Perry added that junior and temporary staff often don't feel the same degree of responsibility at work "mostly because they haven't been allowed and encouraged to share it."

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