Commentary

Consumers To Learn Of Risks In Wearables, Connected Objects While At Work

Consumers not aware of security implications of IoT technology they wear or bring into their homes may start to learn about it at the office.

Surveys have shown that many consumers are not concerned about security breaches through their wearable devices, like smartwatches or fitness trackers. The same is true for home smart things, such as connected thermostats.

However, business execs see wearables as the top security threat, based on a new study.

The study is based on a survey of 440 company technology executives in North America, Europe and the Middle East conducted by Spiceworks, a network of technology professionals.

It turns out that much of the connected technology at work is pretty much the same as at home and that’s where consumer education is likely to rub off.

For example, tech execs at work see security issues in wearables, connected appliances and thermostats, the same types of devices consumers are dealing with personally. Here are the IoT devices seen as the most likely source of a security threat or breach, according to the study:

  • 53% -- Wearables (smartwatches, fitness trackers)
  • 50% -- Video equipment (security cameras)
  • 46% -- Physical security (smart locks)
  • 45% -- Appliances
  • 41% -- Sensors (RFID readers, badge readers)
  • 39% -- Controllers (smart lighting, thermostats)

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The good news for consumers and marketers is that businesses are taking it upon themselves to help employees learn of the risks involved. Of the execs preparing for the impact of IoT in the workplace, 64% are focusing on educating employees about risks.

This is positive for marketing, since consumers are likely to learn how to better control access to and through their connected devices and also how they can allow communication from brands they trust.

The Internet of Things does not live in a vacuum. The people learning about the ins and outs of their wearables and other connected technology at work are the same people marketers will be targeting, mostly when they’re not at work.

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