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How information technology is changing the landscape for federal employees.

BYOD As a Right, Not a Privilege

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The younger generation entering the workforce is expecting to be able to use their own devices for work purposes, and many are bypassing their organization’s security policies to do so, according to a new report by security company Fortinet.


A survey of more than 3,800 active employees in their 20s found that 74 percent already regularly use their own personal devices for work purposes. Fifty-five percent said they view the use of their own device at work as a right rather than a privilege.

At the same time, younger workers understand the risks of using their personal devices for work purposes, with 42 percent of 20-somethings saying they believe potential data loss and exposure to malicious IT threats to be the most dominant risk associated with BYOD, according to the survey. But that’s not stopping some of them, with 36 percent admitting they have or would contravene a corporate policy banning the use of personally-owned devices for work purposes.

Organizations also may face resistance from younger workers in implementing security controls on an employee’s device, the survey found. The majority (66 percent) of respondents consider themselves, not the company, to be responsible for the security of personal devices they use for work purposes. Only 22 percent consider their organization responsible for securing personal devices used for work, the survey found.

Do younger workers at your agency consider BYOD a right rather than a privilege? What implications does this have for your agency going forward, particularly as more and more Generation Y workers enter the federal workforce?

Reporter Portrait for GovernmentExecutive.com

Brittany Ballenstedt writes Nextgov's Wired Workplace blog, which delves into the issues facing employees who work in the federal information technology sector. Before joining Nextgov, Brittany covered federal pay and benefits issues as a staff correspondent for Government Executive and served as an associate editor for National Journal's Technology Daily. She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Mansfield University and originally hails from Pennsylvania. She currently lives near Travis Air Force Base, Calif., where her husband is stationed.

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