5 Potential Security Threats For Wearables

Wearables - Smart Watch

Over the last few years, wearable technology has quickly become a huge part of how many companies operate. Just like smartphones, innovative wearables like fitness trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses, VR and AR are presenting opportunities to enhance and optimise business practices.

However, it’s vital to remember that wearables are prone to security risks like all other technology. Research by Gartner has shown a massive upward trend in worldwide wearables sales over the last few years and this means security is now more important than ever.

Yes, wearable technology does present companies with a way to increase employee efficiency and gather important data, but the consequences of security breaches can be severe. Read on to find out more about the security risks that wearable technology is prone and how to mitigate them. Or, visit the Workplace blog page now.

Data is often stored on the device

For many companies, data is often the most valuable asset in their possession. Normally, any reputable company should have state-of-the-art security in place on their servers and elsewhere to keep this data totally secure. With that being said, wearable technology is still in its infancy, but hackers are beginning to show more interest as the industry grows.

While a remote hack is a serious cause for concern, lots of wearables actually store all their information physically on the device itself. Many of the security protocols we take for granted on servers, PCs and mobile devices isn’t present in the wearables market as of yet.

So, it’s important to develop a best practices guide for your employees as many risks revolve around the hardware falling into the wrong hands. Additionally, try to ensure every device has anonymised data so that it can’t be directly traced to a single employee.

Photo, video and audio capture

In the James Bond movies, the kinds of gadgets he uses seem like a bit of a gimmick to many of us. Well, thanks to the security risks of wearable technology all of us have the potential to become an unwitting spy just like James Bond.

As many wearables are connected online and have inbuilt audio, image and video capture there is a real potential for disaster. Confidential information and sensitive areas are now more at risk than ever before. Unfortunately, hackers know this and the value that this kind of stolen data holds.

To mitigate the potential security risks involved here you should have employees ‘check in’ their wearables before entering sensitive areas or attending meetings. In addition to this, your IT team can also routinely examine your company’s wearable technology and flash the devices.

Wireless connectivity

Almost all wearables connect to smartphones, tablets or PCs through wireless connections using protocols like Bluetooth, NFC and Wi-Fi. Given the right amount of time, a maintained brute-force attack by hackers has the potential to breach most wireless communication networks.

Knowing how many wearables are connected to your wireless network gives you a good idea of the risks you’re exposed to. But, you can reduce the security risks you face by establishing a separate network for wearable technology and removing their access to the internet. As an extra line of defence, make sure this new dedicated network doesn’t allow access to internal company resources or any guest Wi-Fi networks.

Encryption security at cloud and data centres

Encryption on manufacturers’ and app developers’ cloud servers is a security risk that is virtually impossible for you to control. While many manufacturers and developers will have the most stringent encryption protocols in place to keep data safe, some will not.

It’s vital that you do your research when it come to the wearables you purchase for your company and the apps that come with them. If necessary, create a blacklist that bans the installation of certain applications and routinely update this as security risks develop.

Accountability

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Many security risks that wearables are prone to is something that manufacturers and app developers are responsible to fix. However, at this moment in time there is a lack of regulation in the industry and this means that blame for data breaches often doesn’t lie with these parties themselves.

You need to be aware that you can’t currently trust manufacturers and app developers to act as the gatekeepers to your valuable data. It’s highly unlikely that anyone other than your company will be held accountable for the loss of data or a security breach. Therefore, it’s imperative that you follow all our steps and mitigate the security risks that your wearables face as much as possible.

If you’re thinking of jumping on the wearable technology band wagon and need professional assistance to protect your IT systems and valuable data, Saxons is here to help. Contact our experienced team now or visit the IT Solutions page for more information.