пʼятниця, 19 грудня 2014 р.

Wearables: Top Security Risks and Preventive Measures

All-consuming passion for wearables should go hand in hand with enhanced security. Find out what the top wearables security risks are and how to mitigate them to keep your gadget safe and sound.

By Nazar Tymoshyk and Stanislav Breslavskyi

They say, with great power comes great responsibility. Judging from today’s all-consuming passion for wearables and their seemingly endless functionalities, this rule should be applied – first and foremost – with regard to wearables security. Unfortunately, you are not the only one to take advantage of the data collected by the smart devices. To combat attackers’ activity, it is important to know that wearables risk zone covers three components:

  1. Wearable device itself
  2. Device you transmit data to (e.g., smartphone)
  3. Cloud

So what are the top wearables security risks and what may be the result of careless behavior with data?

Invading Privacy: Targeted Advertising

Have you ever had a feeling you are being watched after that last Hunkemöller collection ad popped out in sidebars on Facebook, or after EasyJet sent you a special offer to Mallorca? Apparently today, marketing specialists inspect their target audience by the principle Sting was singing about: every step you take, every click you make – they’ll be watching you. Customization as a trend is harmless itself, but at some point stalking your web-activity may result into unhealthy invading of privacy or usage of the data collected against you.

Spying, Robbing, Housebreaking

Checking in via Foursquare may be more dangerous than you think and poses serious wearables risk. For burglars and robbers, your location may serve as a green light to break into your house. A perfect example is a recent viral Internet-story about Keri McCullen who shared her excitement about going to a concert and came back home only to find out she was robbed.


The recent iCloud nude photo leaks scandal proved that private information may be a weapon for blackmailing or public deprivation. Attackers do not necessarily need your photos – due to self-tracking, anything you post or do may be used against you.

Health Damages

Barnaby Jack's experiment shown that through attacking healthcare devices, such as pacemakers and insulin pumps, it is possible to increase the voltage of the pacemaker or tenfold the insulin doze and kill a person.

Ten Easy Steps to Mitigate Wearables Security Risks

No panic: treating your wearable and the data it tracks with due attention and care, you may easily mitigate potential threats. Here are some basic preventive steps to enforce your wearable security:

  1. Keep the very wearable device protected.
  2. Ensure account safety and cloud synchronization security with reliable password recovery security questions and two-factor authentication modules.
  3. Use multiple passwords for different systems, as well as change them once in a while.
  4. Lock your screen and encrypt your data.
  5. Be suspicious about the websites and services that request too much information.
  6. Switch off Bluetooth when it is not used.
  7. Always carefully read Privacy & Security Policy.
  8. Install your OS or app updates right after they become available.
  9. Don’t be overly fanatic about check-ins.
  10. Trust, but verify.
No matter how reliable your service provider or gadget seems, don’t forget about these easy preventive measures to mitigate security risks and keep your gadget safe and sound.

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