Wearable are slowly yet steadily penetrating the mainstream marketplace. What was limited to fitness trackers is slowly entering the spaces of healthcare, fashion and entertainment. And given the fact that the market is not limited to the giants of the industry such as Apple, Microsoft etc. and that the core players in each of these domains are also building a sizeable market share for themselves, the options available for end users are plenty. For example, Kate Spade has launched its latest collection of smart watches and smart jewelry. While all of this is welcoming and exciting to see, the market is still not ready for the scale and potential this industry has.
One of the prime areas to watch for and evolve is the security for wearable apps. A few years back the grappling concern, was that smart wearable devices did not have any security built in. If I were to lose a watch at a coffee shop any perpetrator who gains access to the device can gain access to my information. That situation is fast changing today. Biometrics is an important authentication technique used in wearable applications, with fingerprint data that is stored on the cloud. While this is a strong and unique authentication mechanism, having such information out in the cloud is another area to watch for from the security angle. Data transfer is not as much a concern as data storage itself. As a tester, user privacy and associated security is a critical area to account for in wearable app testing.
This is an important concern in domains such as healthcare as well. Despite growing concerns, again given the potential this space offers, market analysts have predicted a phenomenal growth for wearables apps in the health care domain which is expected to touch a revenue of $8.3 billion by 2019.
Testers have a great opportunity here to build a niche in wearable security testing and this is an area where users will also need to be savvy to understand what data is collected, how it is transferred and where is it saved. How such saved data is further analysed, acted on, shared should also be understood as a system or piece of data is only as secure that we want it to be. It is thus a collected responsibility of organizations, testers and end users to enjoy the potential of wearables while protecting sensitive user information from the hands of hackers.