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Safer wearables

As smart watches, fitness trackers and payment wristbands are expected to account for perhaps one in five mobile payment transactions by 2020 – representing maybe $500 billion a year – it is inevitable that they will become a growing target for cyber-attack, according to WISeKey and Kaspersky Lab.

The two cyber-security product companies announced that they are developing technology that will integrate authentication and data encryption into new wearable devices, for them to safely connect, communicate and exchange financial data.

The interaction between devices, known as the Internet of Things is set to transform the business and consumer landscape. The market for connected wearables alone is estimated to be growing by 35 per cent a year. However, many connected devices and the data they exchange remain worryingly unprotected, and this will become even more serious as more of them are used to make payments.

Premium watch manufacturers, such as Bulgari, already integrate WISeKey’s patented security software, WIS.WATCH into their connected watches. This enables a customer to securely identify and authenticate their device, to connect it to other devices such as their smartphone and to access applications, personal data and secure cloud storage. Kaspersky Lab says that its secure software development kit for mobile devices will be included in this solution, adding a further layer of security for mobile payments.

Carlos Moreira, CEO of WISeKey, said: “This cooperation between WISeKey and Kaspersky Lab represents a breakthrough in IoT cyber-security. The combination of trust and convenience that will be delivered to wearable devices opens the door to implementations in other sectors, where the same approach can support a variety of other IoT applications.”

Eugene Kaspersky, chairman and CEO of Kaspersky Lab, said: “We live in a truly connected world. But as the number of connected devices continues to grow, so does the number of threats. And unfortunately there are millions of devices in active use today that were never designed to be secure. But security should be built-in from the very outset. There’s an urgent need to establish and implement higher levels of security for IoT devices, and we’re happy to work with WISeKey in the development of such a solution.”


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