All smartwatches have security flaws, so who?s responsible for their protection?

New research by HP reveals that smartwatches with network and communication functionality represent a new and open frontier for cyberattack.

The study conducted by HP Fortify found that 100 per cent of the tested smartwatches contain significant vulnerabilities, including insufficient authentication, lack of encryption and privacy concerns.

“Smartwatches have only just started to become a part of our lives, but they deliver a new level of functionality that could potentially open the door to new threats to sensitive information and activities,” said Jason Schmitt, general manager, HP Security, Fortify.

“As the adoption of smartwatches accelerates, the platform will become vastly more attractive to those who would abuse that access, making it critical that we take precautions when transmitting personal data or connecting smartwatches into corporate networks.”

As manufacturers work to incorporate necessary security measures into smartwatches, consumers are urged to consider security when choosing to use a smartwatch. But who should be responsible for their protection?

“Many of the watches (and other wearable technologies) use ‘device pairing’ along with pin/password to provide authentication, but this alone provides limited protection from a serious assailant. As with many security conversations, the level of security is a recipe of convenience, user experience and security,” explains Matt White, senior manager in KPMG’s cyber security practice.

“The final ingredient is the level of awareness of the end user. It would be a fair assumption that for the average consumer the general level of awareness is low, but this begs the question of who should be responsible for the protection of them? Should it be the manufacturer or the user themselves?

“The answer isn’t clear, but it’s likely that the ‘bad guys’ won’t be waiting for security to catch up with the current advancements.”

Image source: Shutterstock

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