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The whole world is excited to try out the latest in portable technology, wearables. But wearable tech poses dangers to users. 2014 is the year of wearable technology. But before we rush in to buy the next smartwatch, we need to understand the risks.
Wearable Tech Internet Security
Wearable tech needs to connect to the Internet. This is how it accomplishes most of its basic functions. Since these devices are fairly new, there aren’t many security tools for the devices and their vulnerabilities have yet to be discovered. But even without cybercriminals working hard to find these flaws, wearable tech has inherent features that can pose security threats. One is GPS functionality. Most wearable technology tracks users’ locations thorough GPS connectivity. This has caused problems as early as 2011 with the Fitbut scandal. Very personal user data from this fitness tracker was showing up on Google results pages. In 2013, it was discovered that medical devices like heart and insulin pumps with wireless capabilities can be hacked and used to kill people. Cybercriminals can easily use tracking information to obtain users’ physical locations. These can be easily used to find patterns of movement that help them determine when the home is empty, for instance.
Wearable Tech and BYOD
Some companies are still trying to secure themselves against the threats posed by personal devices like laptops and smartphones being used for work. Now we have wearable tech which can pose additional security risks. We do not know yet how much of an impact wearable tech can have on company infrastructure. IT departments will also have to study up on wearable tech to know how to protect the company from potential treats. The International Cyber Security Protection Alliance and the European Cybercrime Center are predicting that security threats to company infrastructure will hit soon. The International Data Corporation estimates that over 19 million wearable technology devices will be sold this year. Samsung has already sold quite a few smartwatches, and Apple’s iWatch is coming soon. These numbers show how many potential workers might be bringing vulnerable wearable tech into offices.
Spying with Wearable Tech
The potential for spying through wearable tech is probably the biggest threat of all. Wearable tech can be used to spy on both individuals and companies. Personal and corporate data are at risk. Companies worry because sensitive financial and proprietary information can be picked up by wearable tech devices. Many companies are still trying to fend off attacks launched by conventional means. Wearable tech brings in another threat factor that will be difficult to manage because it is new. Possible threats are as yet virtually unknown.