Security experts at Cisco hace predicted major changes for IT security and data protection in the coming years as the influx of young workers into the enterprise continues.
Cisco's 2011 Annual Security report highlighted a number of trends, including the fear that college students entering the workplace are much more relaxed about security practices than previous generations.
Some 80 per cent of the students surveyed admitted to letting another person access their systems without direct supervision, while 16 per cent had left devices unsupervised in a public location.
Scott Olechwoski, a Cisco threat research manager, suggested that the trends point to more relaxed attitudes among the 'millennial' generation about the devices they have grown up with.
The new attitudes to security also come with expectations for greater access. Researchers found that many graduates enter the workplace with the expectation that social networking services and other personal sites will be readily open and free from policy and access controls.
"The expectations of this younger workforce are different. They are going to expect that these technologies are going to be available and this is going to determine where people want to work," said Olechwoski.
Cisco also reported an acceleration in the move away from large-scale botnet and malware operations to targeted attacks.
Mary Landesman, senior security researcher at Cisco, noted that, while high-profile attacks such as those from the Zeus botnet have generated headlines, smaller attacks on high-value targets have proved far more efficient and rewarding for cyber criminals.
The company believes that malware writers in 2012 and beyond will continue to target high-profile accounts, but also seek to infiltrate cloud computing platforms with stealth attacks and exploits in an effort to become even more efficient.
"The professionals are looking for a great bang for their buck with lowest risk. Flying under the radar with the stealth fighter approach is much more effective," said Olechwoski.
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