When it comes to protecting children in today’s digital world, who needs to step up to the plate?

In this article...

  • Tech leaders share their thoughts on cybersecurity based on a recent HPE survey on teens and technology

By spending time online at all hours of the day, kids are vulnerable to dangerous cyber attacks. But when it comes to protecting our children in today’s digital world, who is responsible—parents, businesses or the kids themselves? The answer is… all of the above.

Take a look at the quotes below to hear from tech leaders on who’s responsible for cybersecurity.


Parents really need to be having a conversation with their children about what is and isn’t safe online.

Sex, guns, politics, religion—technology should be one of the things you talk to your kids about.

- Chris Bergman,
CEO of ChoreMonster

I believe it starts with the parents. It is their responsibility. Basically, the same principles apply as when we teach children to be safe in the real world—don’t talk to strangers, if you are asked a question you do not feel comfortable answering, don’t answer. And yet, we are not taking the same care in the digital or virtual world.

- Jason Schmitt,
VP & GM, HPE Fortify

Today’s teens are willing to accept the security provisions that their workplaces impose because they have seen the damage that comes from security breaches.

- Lyssa Neel,
CEO of Linkitz

We need to lock down the environment. In business, employees sign a legal agreement that they will protect a company’s assets. Today teens don’t realize that if they are connected to a network through a mobile device, they can pick up all kinds of malware.

- Scott Spradley,

When I talk to high school or college kids, I ask them what security system they are running on their laptops. They don’t know. Instead, they kind of look at me like I’m a conspiracy theorist.

Kids are using devices without any protection

, and they’re all connecting to the school network. On their smartphones, they tend to have no security at all.

- Spradley

If you put a mobile app on your phone, you don’t think about it twice, but it’s important to understand the risks that come along with it.

And these risks are becoming increasingly dangerous. Apps keep getting more info on you.

If you have an app for calling a car or ordering food, that app has your credit card information. This app might be storing user names and passwords for the next app which can just grab information and steal it.

- Schmitt

The enterprise will continue to have the role to educate but education will fall short as time goes on. When you believe something is so part of the fabric of how you operate you will start to assume it’s someone else’s responsibility.

- Mahesh Shah,
VP & GM, HPE's M&A Services

It is our responsibility to educate and protect workers. If they do something wrong—knowingly or unknowingly—then shame on us if we did not stop it. We must protect each other.

- Spradley

Moving forward, it’s hard to rely on a person to operate a certain way—they will always put themselves at risk.

Companies need a security policy that assumes the worst.

- Shah

We need safeguards in place because the data that schools have is very, very sensitive—names, SSNs, even medical health records. School systems have been hacked and data has been compromised—there has to be another level of security because just entering a password and username is not enough.

- Dan Rivera,
product marketing manager for Aruba’s K-12 business

We should never underestimate the power to educate people about cybersecurity

so our data is protected at all times.

- Schmitt

For mobile apps, the biggest threats revolve around whether an enterprise understands what it is doing with the information it has gathered. I frequently see simple mistakes being made like storing or sending information over the web without encryption.

Enterprises can be somewhat careless about the information they collect.

- Schmitt

This online survey of a representative sample of 557 U.S. teenagers ages 13-17 was commissioned by Hewlett Packard Enterprise in March 2016.

Find out more from HPE’s recent survey on this topic, and what it means for future enterprises.

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