Wearable tech is being more and more common every new day. In the last few years, wearable Tech provides us with the user-friendly smart watches which will help us in fitness tracking, analyzing the overall activity metrics and improving health. People prefer wearable more than ever now.
However, there exist some wearable tech threats which could cause some huge trouble. Indeed, most of the wearable companies have sought of the threats, but still there are some loopholes in the device.
8 Major Wearable Tech Threats
1. Easy Accessibility
The biggest and most overlooked threat to your wristband is the easy accessibility. Smart watches made to store encrypted data without any lock means anyone can get his hands on the device effortlessly.
Significantly, there is no authentication required to access the data, which could leak sensitive data including the account PIN by the physical means. There are smart locks making its way on the road to wearable security, which is also mandatory, looking at the growing tech threats.
2. Frequent Malware Attacks
Any wearable device is normally, unlikely to get attacked directly by the hacker. However, the latest research provides enough evidence that the technique like keystroke logging can be used to retrieve the confidential info.
Additionally, to get into the device attacker first need to get into the connected smartphone. Also, wearable can be attacked by malicious software, which can only enter attached with a downloadable. And, there is no solid framework within the firmware for malware protection.
3. Wireless Connectivity Access
Wi-Fi connectivity enables wearable PC to get connected to smartphones, there are also other protocols including Bluetooth and NFC for entering the device.
You might think of keeping the wireless network switch on, to stay connected with your device, but this can increase your cyber security threats by 110%. Interestingly, every 3 out of 5 attacks are concerned with easy connectivity.
You should know how secure is your network by checking the visibility and knowing the number of the connected devices.
4. Accessibility to the Camera
Some of the modern wearable devices come packed with high pixels camera providing HD recording (Apple Watch 2). But, there is barely any door blocking the suspicious entries. Additionally, there is advanced smart watches in upcoming years providing the user to remotely record audio/video file. This is, for instance, going to be an open invitation to cyber-attacks.
If you have watched recent Black Mirror – Season 3, it’s easier for you to understand the issue i am talking about.
An attacker could record your activities and snap pictures secretly; this confidential info can then be transmitted to the hacker through the connected network.
5. Third Party Connection Issues
Latest research done by the Kaspersky Lab suggests how easy unauthorized or unauthenticated third party can connect with the wearable and extract useful data. It’s a huge level of wearable security as the next generation wristbands are capable of storing the sensible info including the medical health information.
These attacks are possible because of the pairing methods with the smartphone. This is as the 4.3 or higher Android version gets connected with your wearable.
The unauthorized app installed on the Android can crawl through the smartwatch-smartphone connection and attack the smart watch. Interestingly, the attacker can only enter when the user confirms the pairing by pressing the display, but it is nearly impossible to know whether it is asking for the device pairing or the attacker.
Researchers from Kaspersky suggest the users confirm that the device covers the risk concerns against the third party connection threats.
6. Non-Compliance Agreement
Due to the rising concern over wearable securing threats, it is important for smart watch companies to either self-address the security issues or complies with the government regulations for protection. There are even some companies that don’t properly follow these rules, according to which, it is necessary for the service providers to clearly disclose the usage of their stored personal data.
Additionally, personal data is necessary to be stored. For instance, if you store your steps count or sleep level or heart beat metrics on your device it gets saved on its own cloud-based server, however, adding your identity (name, age…) is what will help the company authorize you. Noncompliance with the regulations is causing the data breach within the wearable industry.
T0p 10 Wearable tech Threats of 2016 – Ericsson ConsumerLab
7. Cloud Based Attacks
As stated already, personal data is transmitted from the smart watch or fitness tracker to the paired smartphone and then it stored in the cloud server, which is a storehouse of personal information.
According to the report published by skyhigh data, more than 25% of users have had stored their sensitive data over the cloud-based servers.
Virtualized Clouds are a highly secure platform due to the usage of different operating systems, providing varying security to the users’ data. Wearable companies should bring about such storage options in the next generation smart watches intended to protect the data.
8. Cyber Spying
Wearable companies are designing a watch packed with maximum features, containing its own operating system and apps. Also, as they are becoming more common than other devices, there is much more chance of getting attacked by cyber criminals.
For instance, there might occur an online company website shutdown. Employee’s Smartwatch (already connected with company network) could get attacked by the malware due to the vulnerability in firmware. This malware can then infect company network by performing a DDoS (Denial-of-service) attack, switching down the entire server due to traffic outrage.
Future of Wearable Tech?
Wearable technology actually demands much more attention and security features than ever. While some companies including sought of it already, and bringing the wearable devices with updated firmware, other companies (including the new wearable startups) are still selling the old school wristbands, with some of them even missing the display screen. It is, however, important to not overlook the security issues related to them.
Currently, over 20% of US people are using smart watches, and this data is surely going to increase in the next few years. Kickstarter, Product Hunt and Indiegogo crowd funding are loaded with new projects. Thus, companies should not miss the insights of wearable and must add safer tech providing both the privacy as well as protection to its users.