The rising availability of wearable tech like the Apple iWatch and Google Glass is changing the modern business world with goals of higher productivity and a better bottom line in mind. Although originally focused on the consumer market, the switch has been made to development with business applications in mind. The impact has been seen in the field service industry with technicians bringing wearable cameras to work. These smart devices have put field companies in a position solve problems at a faster rate saving money in the long-term.
All of this is great news but there has to be a catch, at least to some degree.
Wearable Tech and Data Security
Devices like Google Glass present a different risk from before since it has the ability to record video and sound, presenting the worry that confidential information could be audio-recorded and transferred outside the network. These devices have the ability to interact with the analog world around them and obtain data. It still isn't fully known to what extent data can be transferred and stored. Paul Martini, CEO of iboss, notes that the difference between the original calculator and Samsung's Galaxy Gear smart watch is that while the calculator watch had the ability to sum and multiply numbers, it wasn't able to transfer or store information. Samsung's Galaxy Gear smart watch also sends and receives texts, stores voice recordings and makes phone calls. The risk is that the information gathered by wearable tech in a setting like a hospital can collect sensitive information violating HIPAA.
The medical industry isn't the only industry concerned with threats wearable tech can present. The UK has banned Google Glass in cinemas over film piracy with some saying that the U.S. may do the same. The sports world is always looking to find ways to improve business practices and athlete performance but could also risk information loss if wearable tech is in the wrong or improperly trained hands.
MDM and acceptable use policies
Knowing when smart phones are and are not acceptable is key to successful mobile device management (MDM) for any enterprise. For example, an MDM solution or rule in place may be banning smart phones from an acquisition but this rule does not ban smart watches from being present. The watch is always on the user with the same abilities to potentially take pictures of documents and record business chats.
Upgrading the network security infrastructure, including computer security, is key to the success of any enterprise looking to fully adopt wearable tech. This will help IT detect and hopefully prevent any data loss or security breaches through the presence of wearable tech. By coming up with advanced security solutions, data can be analyzed as to how it flows while identifying the types of devices used. Training employees on acceptable use policies and the effects of using wearable technology improperly will lead to prevention of future problems. Policies can be used to emphasize that wearable technology is only acceptable to an enterprise if it brings value or increases efficiency.
Technological convergence has allowed the end user to receive calls and discounts and gain navigation information while accessing emails. All of these abilities presented by wearable tech have proven to be productive in the long-term. If the right precautions are taken with the correct policies in place, enterprises can put mobile devices to work for them, increasing company ROI and reducing risk.
Identity protection tips for wearable tech
A few tips for protecting user identity when it comes to mobile apps and wearable tech include avoid using identifying information and using unique passwords for self-tracking apps. When creating usernames, avoid names that appear on any forms of identification if possible. Password generators can help if coming up with a unique password is difficult. Another tip for protecting user data and enterprise information is checking the privacy policies for every app and wearable tech developed. It will help CIOs be informed as to how to address security threats and update current security policies.