For business, there is a lot more to this than geeky pleasure. Wearable technology has a real role to play: it can help in improving cybersecurity and defense, speed up and synchronize work between colleagues, improve real-time monitoring of various tasks and company workflows, and make data organization, filing, and access easier.
Wearable electronic interaction and co-existence with computers is expected to increase and is one of the most fascinating areas in what is becoming known as “human computer synergy” and the Internet of Things (IoT). We will soon be automatically logging in and out, connected to systems that offer continuous authentication, connecting and merging files together, and generally allowing people to interact with data in a much easier and more personal way.
In addition, wearable technology may sound the death knell for passwords, which are often too easy to crack—some 80% of computer hacking incidents result from passwords being cracked.
This is great news for security and efficiency, but transferring large quantities of cyber-oriented security responsibilities to new technology such as wearables (or to any new technology for that matter) may expose cyber-fraught situations. Breaches could be dangerous, embarrassing, and costly.
To avoid the problems and to get the full benefit, companies will need to think carefully about how they integrate wearable technology into their existing IT security policies. The new technology will only be as secure as the policy and procedures that govern its use. This means companies must assess all the risks and work out how the technology will interact with their overall strategy. Lately, it has been reported that smartwatches and other wearable technologies were banned in China’s military forces in order to prevent disclosure of state secrets.
For example, if passwords are eliminated because a wearable wristband or “next generation” smartphone application connects to a computer automatically, company policy must reflect this change. Similarly, if wearables are used as part of a security system, companies must have a policy about the personal use of these devices and also verify that they don’t introduce covert channels or backdoors from the IoT and internet spaces straight into the corporate network.
Regarding various use-cases, wearables can be used to enhance physical security and access control mechanisms. Their ability to provide real-time reporting of activity, real-time access to information, and authentication of a user’s exact location, as well as the ability to “sense” their environment (the user’s body, the area around it, and other “things” and “machinery” the user passes by)—makes them perfect for enforcement of access control, both physical, and cyber-wise. A great application can be the protection of your Bitcoin wallet using geolocation and proximity techniques such as those just outlined.
It is also anticipated that niche-usage implementations relevant to various industries will be introduced. These would include industries where IT staff, cybersecurity incident responders, and the like may benefit from wearables such as “goggles” that guide you through an incident at hand, providing live feeds that overlap with the physical world that you’re looking at and interacting with. Thus enabling you to provide the right solutions straight off the bat.
In most cases, companies can easily adapt their old policies to fit the new emerging world of wearables, but they may also need help and guidance on the range of security issues that could arise. Cybersecurity and technology specialists can help—it’s a brand new world and the risks are too great to leave it up to chance.