Enterprise Wearable Device Use to Soar Despite Security Risks

The use of wearable technology devices at work is set to soar over the coming 12 months, but UK IT leaders appear to be taking a worryingly laid back approach to securing them against data theft, according to Trend Micro.

The security vendor’s Walking into Wearable Threats report claimed that 69% of IT leaders have seen wearables used at work while 91% said they expect numbers to increase next year.

It’s not just BYOD driving the trend, however, with 61% saying their organization encourages the use of wearables at work and a quarter claiming that they’re working on enterprise wearable roll-outs including smartwatches and fitness trackers.

A major driver is that many corporate insurance programs are now demanding employees wear health monitors and the like. However, other noted benefits are improved productivity and staff morale.

Yet although the majority of respondents (85%) said they are aware of the security risks involved – including corporate data theft and auto-syncing of data to personal devices – 64% claimed they’re not concerned with the growing number of wearables in the enterprise.

Trend Micro CTO, Raimund Genes, claimed that there’s no silver bullet for security.

Organizations should therefore find out what data is being collected, work out acceptable levels of risk according to industry regulations, and look to the security of the third party servers that collected data is stored on, he said.

“These threats will only increase as wearables become more sophisticated and more of them enter the enterprise,” Genes added in a statement. “It is crucial that organizations think about the measures they can take to minimize the threat from wearables, before they become as omnipresent as smartphones.”

Reassuringly, half of respondents to the survey said they thought their organization should introduce limits on what data is collected by wearables, while 43% said that security policies may need tightening.

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