Google Glass and Bring Your Own Wearables (BYOW) Set to Revolutionise the Enterprise?
Google Glass is an Android device resembling a pair of glasses, which can be controlled by your voice or via a capacitive touch pad. The optical head mounted display shows information directly into the wearer’s field of vision such as photos, web searches, messages, apps, texts and more.
Based on a version of Android, the operating system can run apps that are optimised specifically for the device, called Glassware. The wearable technology can be connected to a smart device by Bluetooth or through Wi-Fi when at home or in a hotspot.
There have been a number of debates so far about Google Glass regarding its openness to hacking and the implications for privacy. At the moment, there is not a safe enough authentication or PIN system enabled but, arguably more important, hackers have found a ‘root’ feature which can be accessed through certain commands when attached to a PC or laptop.
Once the hacker has gained access, they can in effect see through the eyes of the user, and monitor their personally identifiable information, updates, PINS, passwords and banking information at all times without their knowledge. Spyware apps can also take photos or videos without consent of either the wearer or those around them, which puts everyone’s security and privacy at risk. With both these things in mind, corporate security is significantly under threat as hackers could share sensitive or classified information in a matter of seconds.
Google Glass is constantly recording user activity. The device tracks the eye movements of the user and performs intuitive data requests based on this behaviour. Even without the hacker behind the scene, this could mean that information is still being gathered without the permission of the wearer and this potential to receive and transmit this data equates to a complete loss of control over the wearer’s virtual life.
There have been suggestions about how to overcome the risk of hackers taking control by creating an auto-protect system, to be enabled by the user when the device is not in use and including a PIN, retinal or voice scans or some other form of authentication. Google recently forbade Glass app developers from creating facial recognition apps amid these user security and privacy concerns, but once again hackers seem to be one step ahead.
Bring Your Own Wearable (BYOW), meaning an employee-owned device used within a business environment, will eventually make its way into the corporate world. Wearable devices such as Smart watches from Sony and Samsung are already set to impact the medical and fitness world, and it won’t be too long before smart devices such as Google Glass starts inching their way into the financial world.
Wearable devices haven’t become a set category yet. They already include a wide range of device types – from watches to clothing – and until IT can provide serious, reliable management covering all of these, maybe the most sensible thing to do is to concentrate on the security of the apps and connectivity rather than the devices themselves.
This way, enterprise can put policies and procedures in place immediately, much like with Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and smartphones, and then afterwards find a solution to manage wearables in a more systematic way. From a network point of view, wearable devices are not that much different from a smartphone or any of the other Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) device currently transforming the business world. So IT departments need to expand their policies to incorporate objectives which are more company-specific, and find a way to collect, store, analyse and access all business-related data from those devices.
To protect personal security and privacy, Google needs to step up and address the issues raised by so many people. On the users’ side, in order to maintain company security, IT needs to understand how to protect the devices from external corruption, and collect and access the data in a secure manner through BYOW and EMM policies and solutions.
What do you think ?
Thanks to Emma Griffin for the post !