North American Workplaces Still Not Ready for the Influx of Wearable Tech, Finds ISACA Survey

Rolling Meadows, IL - 12 November 2014

Increased security threats and data privacy issues considered the biggest challenges of connected devices 

New research from global IT association ISACA found that few North American workplaces are ready for the invasion of wearable technology and other connected devices.

According to 2014 IT Risk/Reward Barometer—a 110-country survey of 1,646 ISACA members who are business and IT professionals—40% of respondents in North America say their organization has plans in place to leverage the Internet of Things or expects to create plans in the next 12 months. However, the majority is not ready for wearable technology in the workplace. More than half (60%) say their “bring your own device” (BYOD) policy does not address wearables and a further 18% do not even have a BYOD policy in place.

This is significant because more than half of US consumers in a related survey state that connected devices are on their wish lists. In addition, 83% of the IT professionals surveyed say BYOW (bring your own wearables) is as risky as, or riskier than, BYOD.

Overall, most IT professionals across North America believe the benefit of the Internet of Things outweighs the risk for individuals (39%), while close to half believe the risk outweighs the benefit for enterprises (44%). Yet despite the risks, a quarter (25%) say the Internet of Things has given their business greater access to information and more than four in 10 hope to benefit from greater efficiency (43%) and improved services (41%) as a result of connected devices.

Half of the respondents believe the biggest challenge regarding the Internet of Things is increased security threats, while nearly a quarter (24%) are concerned about data privacy issues. The majority (71%) is very concerned about the decreasing level of personal privacy and 32% of respondents say the general public’s biggest concern about connected devices should be that they don’t know who has access to the information collected.

“The Internet of Things is here, and following the holidays, we are likely to see a surge in wearable devices in the workplace,” said Rob Clyde, international vice president of ISACA and CEO of Adaptive Computing. “These devices can deliver great value, but they can also bring great risk. Companies should take an ‘embrace and educate’ approach.”

ISACA recently established the Cybersecurity Nexus (CSX) as a resource that enterprises and security professionals can turn to for security guidance. 

ISACA’s IT Risk/Reward Barometer examines attitudes and behaviors related to the risks and rewards of key technology trends, including the Internet of Things, Big Data and BYOD. The 2014 Barometer consists of two components: a survey of 1,646 ISACA members who are IT and business professionals around the world, including 553 in North America, and a survey of more than 4,000 consumers in four countries, including 1,209 in the US.

The annual IT Risk/Reward Barometer is a global indicator of trust in information. Conducted by ISACA, a global association of more than 115,000 IT security, assurance, risk and governance professionals, the Barometer polls thousands of business and IT professionals and consumers worldwide to uncover attitudes and behaviors about essential technologies and information. The study is based on September 2014 online polling of 1,646 ISACA members from 110 countries. Additional online surveys were fielded in September by M/A/R/C Research among more than 4,000 consumers in the US, UK, India and Australia. 

With 115,000 constituents in 180 countries, ISACA® is a global association that helps business and IT leaders build trust in, and value from, information and information systems. Established in 1969, ISACA is the trusted source of knowledge, standards, networking, and career development for information systems audit, assurance, security, risk, privacy and governance professionals.

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