The wearable tech market is projected to reach $12.6 billion by 2018, according to Statista. As the wearable market grows and develops, employees may choose to use their devices in the workplace for business or personal purposes. Many wearables use Wi-Fi or Bluetooth to connect with other devices, introducing an enterprise security risk that could necessitate revising BYOD (bring your own device) policies to include wear your own device (WYOD) rules.
Wearable adoption has not yet reached critical mass, but employees are receptive to the idea of incorporating wearable tech into the workspace. PwC found 72 percent of consumers are open to the idea of using wearables for work if the company covers the costs. The current wearable pricing is an adoption barrier for 8 percent of consumers, according to Business Insider, but as the market matures and prices become more competitive, more wearable technology could make its way into the workplace.
Wearable devices present several enterprise security concerns. They often communicate with a paired mobile device, introducing risks of side-loaded applications and unsecured data, as well as an entry point into an enterprise network if the network isn’t using end-to-end security measures. Then, as device adoption grows, viruses and other malware could cause further security issues. Finally, Wired found ways to access data directly on the wearable, such as device locations. However, by addressing WYOD policies before wearables are commonplace, enterprises can stay ahead of potential security issues.
Enterprise mobility management (EMM) helps the enterprise enforce WYOD policies and track how many wearables are in use in the workplace. EMM manages security measures for the wearable technology, which may include restrictions on network connectivity and access for certain devices or certain wearable categories. Since the wearable market covers many devices, from smart watches to medical devices, a WYOD policy requires an in-depth look at each potential type. Additionally, EMM tracks the data coming to and from the wearable and employs risk management solutions if a device is lost or stolen.
The wearable market has many devices with the potential to improve business productivity, but a WYOD policy is necessary to mitigate the security risks these devices may introduce into the enterprise.