The short answer: potentially a lot more than you intend.
Let’s say you take a walk or run early every morning, on the same route in your favorite park, before the sun comes up. Your fitness wearable times your run, tracks your progress, and calculates your distance based on location, which is great—until that information, stolen during a data breach, ends up in the hands of a cyber stalker. Now, all of a sudden, you’ve unwittingly been put in a very vulnerable place.
It’s true, this type of theorizing can be a little macabre. So are the ethics of self-driving cars, and many other aspects of the new world of artificial intelligence we now inhabit. The reality is, every category of technology carries inherent risks, and as people become more connected with technology in every aspect of their lives, we must be cognizant of those risks.
New technology creates new risks
We are most familiar with the risks associated with stolen financial data. Credit card fraud has been around for decades, although it has declined very significantly since FICO® Falcon® Fraud solutions were introduced in the early 1990s. More recently, online banking has presented a risk, as credentials stolen during data breaches or by malware have been used to siphon or liquidate money from accounts.
Within the Internet of Things (IoT), the extremely broad category of internet-connected devices, the potential damages associated with a breach are more problematic. They become more personal as the nature of the risk shifts from financial to kinetic. Cars, home systems (heating, lights, door locks) and appliances are vulnerable to tampering, as the now-infamous doorbell hack of 2016 proved. And these attacks don’t need to be targeted at individuals; cybercriminals often like to test their prowess at exploits just to gain notoriety in the hacker community.
Finally, wearables that can be used to make payments are vulnerable on both fronts: financial data and physical security.
Why wearable data is catnip for hackers
There are many, many innovative companies in the wearables space. By and large, they are product innovators, not security experts. No matter how sophisticated its software developers and IT people are, many of these wearables companies are too new to have developed the security infrastructure and battle-hardened experienced of, for example, the financial services and payments industries.
As a result, wearables data is pure catnip for hackers — tempting, intoxicating, and probably pretty easy for a clever cyber criminal to get. As the number of people using wearables grows, so will the attractiveness of associated data.
FICO offers important defenses to protect wearables data and all sensitive information. The FICO® Enterprise Security Score allows organizations to assess their own security posture, and that of business partners’. Inside the four walls of the enterprise, FICO Falcon Cyber Security Solutions allow breaches to be detected as they occur, instead of days, weeks or months after the fact, further reducing the flight risk of stolen data.
Learn more about how to protect the personal data collected by your wearable tech, and keep up with the latest developments in FICO’s security product portfolio. Follow me on Twitter @dougoclare