Do wearables pose a business security threat?

March 20, 2014

Wearable devices are set to be the next area of IT growth, and will certainly see business implementation due to their efficiency and financial benefits.

These devices offer fast communication at lower prices than that of mobile phones or tablets. By using these devices businesses will be able to speed up both collaboration and communication. Security risks, however, will be presented with device adoption.

"Mobile exploded really quickly, and a lot of developers started building apps into the new ecosystems. We shouldn't be surprised if wearables suddenly take off, and we should start planning ahead," said Domingo Guerra, president and co-founder of Appthority. The company investigates mobile apps and provides risk profiles for customers.

Wearable devices come with many of the connection services mobile devices have, such as 3G and 4G radios, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. In addition to tracking location data, information can be sent directly from the wearable device to another location, such as an offsite storage server.

The increased sensory awareness of wearable devices is likely to pose threats for most businesses dealing with sensitive or confidential information, as devices can be hidden and kept recording. Proper security policies will need to be put in place before allowing mobile devices to be used in business locations.

Industries will likely see different threat levels based on the types of information dealt with on a daily basis, but the key will be preventative security.

"It's still early in the wearables space around healthcare, and right now a lot of the information may be just personal" said Mr Guerra.

Implementing security policies early will be the best way to stop any potential security threats posed by wearable devices. These can be similar in function to bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies, involving restrictions around use in the workplace, and what applications can be operated while within company grounds.

Following policy instigation, vulnerability management should be undertaken by frequently checking devices for unauthorised apps and services.

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