Wearable technology is all over the place in your office, whether you realize it or not. Consider how many of your employees wear smartwatches or health trackers. All of these devices tend to enrich the lives of those who use them, but they can quickly become network security risks if you aren’t prepared to handle them on your company network. Let’s go over what you need to consider to protect your business from wearable technology.
Most people understand wearable technology as the use of fitness trackers and smart jewelry, but there are other innovative ways to use it, including virtual reality headsets, smart glasses, Bluetooth headsets, and more. In the business environment, you’re most likely to see smartwatches, devices which your employee will get the most out of if they are connected to your wireless network or through access to employee devices.
The most important element of wearable devices in the workplace, however, is security, and you cannot overlook them as a risk. Most wearable devices are not governed or protected by the compliance standards upon which your business is subject to. This includes compliance with common regulations like the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and others. For example, these devices are known to receive push notifications from an individual’s smartphone, making them potential avenues for vulnerability. With limited user interfaces due to their primary use being as a watch, businesses generally have limited control over how these devices manage data or push communications to wearable technology.
The first step toward protecting your network from wearable technology is to implement a reliable Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy. This helps to define which devices are allowed within your network and the stipulations you have in place for them. Many organizations will build a BYOD policy centered around smartphones, which isn’t a bad place to start, but it should also cover other equally important technologies, like employee-owned laptops and tablets or other devices used to connect to company assets.
Once you have your policies in place, you’ll need solutions in place to enforce them. If you implement a Mobile Device Management (MDM) tool to control your various devices and endpoints, you’ll have a much easier time maintaining control over your network and the devices that connect to it. In fact, MDM is so effective for protecting your network that the odds of you experiencing issues from a wearable device are quite slim in comparison.
Look, there will always be those who get excited about new technology, and wearable technology will likely be one sector that will continue to grow and evolve over time. You can take advantage of it for your company and innovate in the process, with the appropriate IT support, of course. To learn how you can take full advantage of wearable technology, be sure to contact us at (415) 246-0101.