Is Wearable Technology Putting Your IT At Risk?

Is Wearable Technology Putting Your IT At Risk?

By Chris Brunau

Fitbits, smartwatches, Google Glass. There’s been an influx of wearable technology the past few years and the launch of the Apple Watch means this market is only getting bigger. With the proliferation of these devices invading the workplace, how will the IT department be affected?

While the risk may not be as great as your typical Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) dilemma, there is still reason for concern. Sensitive company information likely isn’t be transmitted or shared on these devices, but there are still some effects that may be hampering your productivity and IT infrastructure. In the case that company information is being transmitted, say through email on a smartwatch, however, it’s an important reminder to back up your data.

According to survey results from Ipswitch, on the topic of wearable technology in the workplace some of the top concerns cited by IT professionals include security breaches (61.1 percent), increased workload (44.8 percent) and decreased network bandwidth (36.1 percent).

Of the 288 IT professionals polled, 53 percent have users connecting to company wifi with devices like smartwatches, fitness bands and other health monitoring devices. And 66 percent reported their companies have no policies for wearable technology.,

Interestingly enough, 15 percent of the companies reported they actually provide wearable technology to staff.

Similar to the dilemma of Shadow IT, IT departments seem to have little or maybe even no control over the types of devices employees are running on the company network for personal use. Also similar to Shadow IT, the solution may not be cracking down on these devices, but instead keeping employees informed and aware of the potential risk involved. By keeping them informed and compliant, IT will keep can keep data more secure and reduce the risk of data loss or downtime which could result from human error given the large amount of wearables in the workplace.

The influx of wearable technology and the potential headaches it could cause may be yet another reason to consider outsourcing IT.  Instead of being forced to regulate wearable technology and deal with the ins and outs of your IT infrastructure, an IT pro can rely on an MSP to help run their IT department, and therefore allow IT at the company to stay focused on their main goals. For more on the benefits of outsourcing, check out our blog post on why businesses should outsource IT.

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