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Businesses face growing cyber threat from unmanaged wearable devices

Businesses are facing an increasing cyber threat from their employees' unmanaged wearable devices, according to a report from this week's RSA Conference.


Centrify’s survey of attendees showed that 56 per cent of wearable owners use their devices to access business apps like Box, Slack, Google Docs and Microsoft Office.

But 69 per cent said they forgo login credentials, such as PINs, passwords, fingerprint scanners and voice recognition when accessing their devices.

42 per cent said their biggest wearable security concern is identity theft, while 34 per cent are concerned about a lack of IT management and device control and 22 per cent are worried about a general increase in breaches involving sensitive work data and information.

“As wearables become more common in the enterprise, IT departments must take serious steps to protect them as carefully as they do laptops and smartphones,” said Bill Mann, chief product officer at Centrify. “Wearables are deceptively private.

“Owners may feel that due to their ongoing proximity to the body, they’re less likely to fall into the wrong hands. However, hackers don’t need to take physical possession of a device in order to exploit a hole in security.”

Cyber security experts have said it is “inevitable” that hackers will begin increasingly target wearable devices as they become more popular with consumers.

As such, it was revealed in January that potential buyers are putting off their potential wearable purchases due to concerns over information security on the devices.

With an estimated three billion wearable sensors set to be in use by 2025, businesses and consumers alike will be keen to ensure the devices are as secure as possible.