Wearing thin?

Gareth Kershaw

Thursday 1 November 2018

With the user’s desire to extend the BYOD ideal to include their personal wearable technologies, and wearable sales inexorably on the up as a consequence, management wariness (weariness?) about such devices is becoming increasingly futile – despite the gaps in corporate defences likely to result in the short term…

You probably have your own opinions on wearable technologies.

You know, smartwatches and the like.

Perhaps, like me, you see their incredible potential for redefining how people interact with the world and with each other.

Maybe you view them as the mildly pretentious accessories of 20-something  bloggers, ‘artists’, and ‘directors’. (The kind that seem to find reaching into their pockets to access Instagram too much of an effort).

Or then again maybe you see wearables as more akin to a midlife crisis; every message notification a cry for help?

The fact is though, that it scarcely matters what we think. Because wearables are here and – with an estimated 600 million of them predicted to be in use by 2020 – they’re here to stay.

Because, while it’s forgivable to see them as little more than a way people to access their phones at the moment, there’s little doubt that wearables are set to become a whole lot more than that as their power and intelligence grow.

Some wrinkles are still being ironed out of course.

Their potential usage for nefarious purposes for example.

I’m not massively enthusiastic about say, being recorded or filmed without my knowledge, and neither will the average C-suite executive. And I somehow doubt that Mr Google Glasses will be a terribly welcome energy in the boardroom either.

Also, the more wearables gain in popularity, the more they’re going to become a great big bullseye for cybercriminals. Bluetooth and WiFi aren’t the most secure connections. Much of the device’s data is stored locally. Most current wearables don’t have PINs or biometrics. And third-party apps often remain trojan horses.

Sorry. If you’re wearing a smartwatch, you may well have just been notified of a spike in your blood pressure. Worry not. With wearable vendors working on fixes for such issues, help is on its way.

Which is just as well. Because before wearables can start replacing (or even competing with) phones, they need to start conforming to the security protocols standard elsewhere.

 

When I buy a Lenovo laptop for instance, I can rest easy in the knowledge that it’s been ‘white hat’ tested by ethical hackers. That it has BIOS/Firmware/Application Security. Such products have security hard-wired into their DNA.

When the same can be said of wearables, things ae going to get very exciting.

Indeed, it will pretty certainly herald the dawning of the age of the wearable, wherein such technologies are not just welcomed into the workplace with open arms, but become part and parcel of the working day.

Once that happens, the potential will be limited only by our own imaginations.

Yep, whatever your heart might tell you about wearables, in all probability you’ll soon be wearing it – and them – on your sleeve.

 

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