How Wearable Devices Are Creating Innovation in the Workplace

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How Wearable Devices Are Creating Innovation in the Workplace-7
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Your smartphone

It’s not your typical wearable, but Bill Bartow, vice president of global product development at Kronos, suggests that your smartphone is the ultimate workplace wearable. "Instead of trying to encourage employees to adopt a new technology such as smart badges or other activity trackers, there are a host of ways organizations can engage with their workers through a device they already don’t leave home without," says Bartow. And not only don’t they never leave home without it, they are almost always "wearing" it somewhere on them, whether in a pocket or on a belt clip.

As one example, Bartow questioned why an employee should need to punch in anymore. "With a mobile app on their phone, an employee’s 3G/4G, Bluetooth, NFC, or Wi-Fi can automatically ‘punch in’ the employee when they walk by the timeclock at the employee entrance. No need to stop – it is one less thing for the employee to worry about."

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As wearable devices evolve, they will take on more functionality, especially within the workplace, potentially affecting the data within a wide range of industries.

On one hand, wearables are revolutionizing the workplace, with innovations that create a safer work environment or enhance the way professionals are able to go about their job. Expect to see developers produce new versions of devices and apps to accommodate wearables in the workplace, enabling improved network access and offering new collaboration tools for employees.

On the other hand, wearables open the door to potential security risks.

"This will also introduce new vulnerabilities as wearables can be accessed via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth," said Varun Kohli, VP of Marketing at Skycure. "A hacker can leverage either or both gates to get access to wearables to steal both personal and corporate data. More importantly, new applications written specifically for wearables are bringing new vulnerabilities to the app level."

Because developers are most interested in getting their product to market, this leads to them taking security shortcuts that will affect the overall risk posture of the organization. Bringing in these wearable/IoT devices opens the door for hackers and hactivists looking for an easy in.

Here are some of the ways wearables are changing the workplace – and one device that we never think of as wearable but may be the most important device we own.

 
 
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