(Network World) Wearables are rapidly invading the workplace in much the same way that smartphones did. Fitness trackers, smartwatches, head-mounted displays and other new form factors are beginning to capture the public imagination. Sales of wearable electronic devices topped 232 million in 2015, and Gartner forecasts they’ll rise 18.4% this year, when another 274.6 million devices are sold.
These wearable devices represent some appealing opportunities for businesses to increase efficiency and gather data, but in the rush to win market share, security concerns are taking a backseat for many manufacturers and app developers. The potential ramifications of unchecked wearable device usage within the enterprise are alarming.
1. Easy Physical Access to Data
The fact that many wearables store data on the local device without encryption is a real issue. There’s often no PIN or password protection, no biometric security and no user authentication required to access data on a wearable. If it falls into the wrong hands, there’s a risk that sensitive data could be accessed very easily.
2. Ability to Capture Photos, Videos and Audio
The kinds of discreet abilities that many modern wearable devices have in terms of video and audio surveillance surpass high-end spy gear from just a few years ago. It’s easy for someone to surreptitiously take photographs or record video or audio files using something like a smartwatch or smart glasses. Covert capture of confidential information, and videos and images of sensitive areas, is a very real possibility.
3. Insecure Wireless Connectivity
The fact that wearable devices tend to connect to our smartphones or tablets wirelessly using protocols such as Bluetooth, NFC and Wi-Fi creates another potential point of entry. We may have Bluetooth on our smartphones turned on all the time now so they can sync with the wearable, but what else could be connecting?. . .(read the rest)