Wearable Devices in the Workplace: Security Threats and Protection

Thursday, June 9, 2016 by under Innovation, Safety

The wearable device market is expected to increase from $5 billion in 2014 to $12.6 billion by 2018. As popularity grows, the rise of these devices in the workplace is likely to follow.

While wearable technology (e.g. smart watches, headsets or fitness trackers) can increase employee convenience and satisfaction, it comes with risks.

Let’s take a look at some security threats associated with wearable devices and how businesses can properly protect themselves to avoid employees compromising safety.  

Risks Associated With Wearable Devices

Whether your company is providing wearable technology or employees are bringing their own devices, there are security risks that could jeopardize your company’s critical or sensitive information, including:

  • Lack of password or passcode usage on devices or applications that store company information.
  • Devices lost or left unattended.
  • Employees not regularly updating or installing malware and antivirus software.
  • Incompatibility of devices with company equipment or security.
  • Wearable technology communicating with other personal devices that are left unsecured.
  • Uncertainty of who owns data stored on devices.
  • Lack of monitoring and usage of wearable technology.

How to Provide Proper Protection

If you or your employees plan to utilize wearable technology at work, properly plan for protection beforehand. A few tips to provide your company with proper protection:

  • Create a wearable device policy that includes information on how data will be stored and consequences if policies are not followed.
  • Ensure employees use unique passwords or passcodes on devices, and stress the importance of secure Wi-Fi connections when accessing information from devices or working remotely.
  • Only allow use of wearable devices that are compatible with existing company technology, and security equipment and software.
  • Secure company networks, equipment and critical data with encryption, anti-virus software and password management.
  • Set a chain of command for employees to notify the appropriate individuals immediately if devices are lost or stolen.

Don’t hesitate to work with your security vendor or IT team when developing security policies for wearable technology in the workplace.

How do you keep your business safe when utilizing wearable technology in the workplace? Share in the comments.

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