A new survey shows that younger generations have been revealed as the biggest security threat to businesses.

One in ten Millennials - those aged between 24-37 - admitted that they would knowingly use a work device that was under cyber-attack. 

The survey of 500 Irish office workers was commissioned by specialist IT solutions distributor, DataSolutions, and carried out by Censuswide last month.

It also found that 42% of Generation Z office workers - those between the ages of 16 and 23 - confessed that they have lost a device that was linked to their work email account.

The cybersecurity study found that 19% of all Irish office workers have sent sensitive work-related information to the wrong email recipient. 

14% of Irish office workers surveyed also said they had copied sensitive company data from previous or current employers for their own use.

According to DataSolutions, Generation Z was found to be the most suspicious generation when it comes to hackers targeting devices used on a daily basis. 

In fact, Generation Z office workers topped every category as the most concerned group in relation to the hacking of internet connected devices including game consoles, wearables, smart security cameras and smart TVs.

Dave Keating, Group Security Director at DataSolutions, said that while it is positive the younger generations place an emphasis on internet security, this awareness does not always translate into action. 

He said that when the WhatsApp security breach occurred earlier this year, everybody was talking about it, but he wonders how many people immediately went on and actually deleted or upgraded the app on their phone? 
 
"That's why employers cannot take for granted that their employees will take steps to stave off an attack when they have other work commitments or if it impacts on the use of their devices," Mr Keating said.

"Business leaders need to remain alert to the dangers that human error and carelessness can pose," he added.

He stressed that cyber-attacks and breaches can be detrimental, not only in terms of costs and resources but also more critically, reputations.