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Wearables a security risk, says Centrify

13 Apr 2016

New research from Centrify is warning businesses about the potential security risks of having wearables in the enterprise.

According to a new survey from the security firm, the presence of wearables in the enterprise poses a growing concern for IT security. 

The survey found that while more than two thirds of wearable owners use no login protection and more than half use their devices to access business data, theft was ranked as the top security concern by 42% of respondents.

“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,”  explains David McNeely, VP of Product Strategy for Centrify.

“Wearables are deceptively private,” he says. “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. 

“The best news is that solutions already exist that can easily wrap wearables into the identity management picture,” McNeely adds.

The Centrify wearables survey identified that 69% of wearable device owners say they forego login credentials, such as PINs, passwords, fingerprint scanners and voice recognition, to access their devices.

Furthermore, 56% of wearable owners use their devices to access business apps such as Box, Slack, Dropbox, Salesforce, Google Docs, Microsoft Office or a combination of those.

Perhaps most alarming, McNeely says, despite the lack of login credentials and ready access to corporate data, 42% of wearable owners cite identity theft as their top security concern when it comes to their devices.

The survey found lack of IT management and device control comes in second (34%) and a general increase in breaches of sensitive work data or information comes in third (22%).

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