March 2, 2016

Wearables always seem to dominate headlines — there’s no shortage of stories on new data-tracking technology and the trendier, more fashionable options that continue to hit the market. As the gap between non-wearable users and wearable devotees shrinks, the question of data security begins to take the stage.

Tracking steps and sleep patterns may seem like harmless fun, but the data collected by your new wearable could end up in the wrong hands and compromise your personal information. In a recent interview on cybersecurity with IEEE, Jacob West of Netsuite explained that, “Users’ personal fitness information now needs even greater security protections because there are vulnerabilities to fitness data, to personal identity information, and to the network and the servers that support it.”

As wearables change and continue to become more of a trend than a fad, the way that the public interacts with technology also evolves. West explained that wearables are becoming so tightly integrated into our lives, and the risks are not the same as a desktop or web-based application that we can simply close out of.

West’s work focuses on one mission that he hopes vendors embrace: “to shift the industry’s focus from exclusively finding and fixing bugs in software to a more balanced approach that also looks at design flaws. We can avoid many bugs and vulnerabilities just by how carefully we build a system.”

West goes on to explain that his work is also directed at consumers, helping them understand security risks more broadly, and that it’s not a means for creating “paralyzing concern” but instead it’s about overall cybersecurity education as it relates to their personal data.

Industry-wide, more attention is being paid to data protection, and solving the security issues that surround wearables.  

Read the full Q&A between IEEE and Jason West.



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