More than half (59%) of workers are using corporate email for personal use, but Gen Z is the biggest offender at 93%, according to identity security company SailPoint, Trust Issues survey.
With work and home increasingly blurring amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Sailpoint set out to determine how users behaviors when conducting these activities could put a target on the organization’s back for a cyber attack or data breach.
At least 44% of respondents reported the number of phishing messages they’ve received is up year-over- year. The survey notes glaring generational differences when it comes to behaviors that are putting Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials and Gen Z and their employees at risk.
Email is a requirement to create any kind of online account including social media profiles. While social media sites are traditionally meant for personal use, the survey found that Gen Z (77%) and millennials (55%) are using corporate emails for their social media logins, compared to just 15% of Gen X and 7% of Baby Boomers. More than half a billion Facebook accounts were stolen in April, according to Business Insider. The survey notes risk is on the rise with new potential doorways being opened every day.
The holiday season presents greater corporate threats from younger generations the report says. Nearly one in three workers say they use their corporate email for online shopping; Baby Boomers are the least likely to engage in these activities. At least 39% have received a phishing message impersonating a retailer and 22% have received a message impersonating a marketing email.
The survey also notes that Baby Boomers are more well equipped to deal with phishing email; at least 94% are confident in their ability to detect a phishing message, while only 29% know how to appropriately react to a phishing email by forward it to IT.
When asked on how they would respond to a suspicious looking email with a link or attachment, 46% of Gen Z respondents said that they would open the link or attachment compared to just one percent of Baby Boomers, 29% of Millennials and 4% of Gen X said they would open the link or attachment.
“Over the last year and a half, we’ve seen countless, high-profile cyberattacks, stemming from email activity, that have brought organizations – like retailers, currency exchanges, and healthcare organizations – down to their knees,” said Heather Gantt-Evans, CISO at SailPoint in a statement.
“By using corporate email for personal use, employees are inadvertently expanding the threshold for malicious actors to enter a corporate network, completely unnoticed. As demonstrated by the data, most don’t know what to do if they see suspicious activity, but with proper education and training, we can deter these types of events to ensure business remains operating as usual,” she said.