The Apple Watch is not the first and it is definitely not the last wearable tech your employees will be wearing into the office, so do you have a security plan for wearables? Wearables are BYOD drama all over again. Well, actually, it might be worse; a survey of business and IT professionals revealed that 81% think wearables pose a bigger risk to the enterprise than BYOD.
Wearables in the workplace statistics
Here is what you need to know about how people are feeling about wearables in the workplace:
- 70% expect their workplaces to permit the use of wearable technology.
- 76 percent of consumers would not need their wearable device to replace an existing piece of technology in order to justify purchasing it. (ie: IT will be dealing with more devices in the office than ever before.)
- 77% think one of the most important benefits of wearable technology is its potential to make employees more efficient and more productive at work.
- 46% say they think their companies should fund the wearable technology, rather than a BYOD model.
- 86% consumers fear that wearables will make them vulnerable to security breaches.
- 82% consumers fear that wearables will invade their privacy.
- More than 80% of consumers think an important benefit of wearable technology is its potential to make healthcare more convenient.
How to reduce wearable security risk
The reality is that mitigating wearable risk is going to take time and resources (you have extra time and resources lying around right?), but it is something you can’t avoid. Just like mobile devices, wearables are going to be coming into your workplace. Here are a few things you need to cover in your wearables security policy:
- Start with your BYOD policy. Wearable devices need to go through the same security audit as mobile devices.
- Address where and under what circumstances wearable wireless capability may be used.
- Address the extent of data broadcast surveillance you retain the right to monitor.
- Consider limiting access to certain networks on wearables.
- Provide employee security and privacy training specific for those using the wearables.
- Do not allow employees or contractors to use wearables to collect videos, still images, audio recordings or other types of information that is about the business, customers, patients or employees.
- Constantly keep a look out for new wearable security tech. It is coming.
While wearables have not hit their peak popularity yet, now is the time to start creating a security policy. It is easier to add to a current policy as things change than to create a policy in a rush.