It may seem like the stuff of a James Bond movie, but today’s wearable tech – from Google Glass to belts that keep you sitting up straight to bracelets that keep your fitness goals on track — is about more than staying connected and tech-savvy: It can also pose serious cybersecurity risks to your company. The sales and use of wearable tech is expected to grow by leaps and bounds during the next few years, so taking steps now to be sure your company is prepared just makes good sense. Here’s what you need to know about developing an agile BYOx (“bring your own everything) policy for your SMB:
- Consider banning them — but do so at your own peril. Many employees consider wearables an important part of their lives, especially those that help them maintain healthy habits. Banning them can take a toll on morale. Plus, some wearables have been shown to increase worker productivity and satisfaction, so an across-the-board-ban could be doing your business more harm than good.
- Specify which wearables may and may not be used. Be sure to craft this policy carefully to cover all possibilities and update it frequently as technology evolves. Make employees aware of any changes as they occur.
- Educate employees on why you’re establishing a policy. Many employees may not recognize the risks wearable technology can pose — for instance, accidentally (and illegally) recording or transmitting sensitive company-related data when connecting to the Internet. Many devices can serve — intentionally or unintentionally — as surveillance equipment, relaying movements and activities via video or audio to a central hub which could be hacked into.
- Create a separate network specifically for wearables. This requires a cash outlay to develop the network and purchase and install equipment, and it also relies on the employees to use the correct network while at work.
- Track everything. Implementing a media access control (MAC) system lets you keep track of everything that’s connected and all data that’s being transmitted. Let employees know ahead of time when such a system is being implemented to avoid potential privacy issues (e.g., lawsuits) down the road.
Whatever steps you take, make sure the system you use is easy to abide by and keep your employees educated and up to date.