Watch out for Smart Watches in the Workplace

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Smart watches are quickly becoming the next big thing in wearable technology. With bold feature sets and promises of health monitoring and management, employers can expect to see them appearing in the workplace more frequently. While new technology is exciting, there are several important ideas executives must keep in mind to stay on top of potential data security risks.

More data in the cloud, more breaches to worry about
By their nature, smart watches are designed to maximize the connected lifestyle. By constantly sending data to other devices and the cloud, smart watches minimize the need for storage and allow users to access reporting features. That automated process may introduce sensitive corporate data – such as emails, documents, and text messages – to an unsecured environment. Head potential data breaches off at the pass by implementing a secure document collaboration and storage framework, then back that up with automated policy compliance.

Employers may have trouble interfacing with employee health data
Smart watches have been universally touted as health monitoring tools, promising to collect a bevy of biometric feeds and identify patterns over time. But if that data is backed up by the enterprise, sensitive health information may crisscross with corporate communications. With no case law to support the blending of data in this way, it’s anyone’s guess how privacy issues surrounding smart watches will play out once they are introduced into the workplace.

Do Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies cover smart watches?
At face value, BYOD policies are a win-win for employees and the company. But a proliferation of device types means policies must be continuously updated. New devices often mean untested apps and feature sets, making a “better safe than sorry” security approach more important than ever. Clearly sharing policies ahead of new technology brought into the workplace can alleviate some of the pressure, while regular company communications can then remind and reinforce policies.

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