Security Space

GajShield Blogs

 The advances in IoT have led to an increase in wearable devices, with US households having 22 connected devices on average in 2021. The global market size for wearable devices is expected to increase to around USD 380.5 billion by 2028 from USD 115.8 billion in 2021. Although they come with many benefits, like convenient hands-free control and fitness tracking, the tradeoff in using these devices is their vulnerability to cyberattacks.





One of the recent examples of a ransomware attack on wearable devices is the WastedLocker ransomware attack on Garmin. The global fitness wearable device company was affected by this ransomware that caused a five-day outage for its product users and call centres. Garmin's website and mobile applications were down and caused widespread disruption of their services.


How can Ransomware Compromise Your Wearable Device?

Ransomware attacks have many different appearances and methodologies. For example, the WastedLocker ransomware was delivered through legitimate websites that had been compromised. These websites were disguised as software updates. This ransomware presented a fake update framework to trick users into downloading malicious JavaScript or PowerShell files.


The attack methodology of the WasterLocker ransomware was as follows:

  • The hackers initially performed penetration tests to assess the defences of the target device.
  • In their second attempt, they bypassed security software and other defences.
  • Once the ransomware was downloaded, it encrypted the files and added a ransom note for each file.
  • If anyone wished to retrieve their data, they would need to pay the ransom.


Personal data is one of the main targets of cybercriminals in such ransomware attacks. Wearable devices usually track health metrics and location data. Ransomware attacks target such data that contains personally identifiable information, which they can then sell on the black market, use for blackmail, or leverage for fraudulent billing. Considering these critical consequences of getting your wearable devices, you need to take data security measures to protect your devices. Here are 8 tips that can help you secure the data of your wearable device and ensure your privacy.


1.     Protect Your Smartphone

Many wearable devices use a smartphone as an interface. It is also the device on which your personal data, collected from the wearable device, is stored. So, installing antivirus software for your smartphone is an important initial step in protecting your data security.


2.     Set Strong Passwords

Some users don’t change the default username and password that comes with the wearable device. This makes them vulnerable to cyberattacks and ransomware attacks. You need to follow a strong method of password creation, like using unique passwords for different devices, setting longer passwords, avoiding common words and phrases, and not using passwords that have already been leaked in a previous hack. You can verify whether your password has been leaked through online data security websites that hold this information. Since strong, unique passwords are difficult to remember, a trusted password manager can help you store passwords securely.


3.     Implement Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

Using a combination of your username, password, and a security code that is sent to your mobile phone makes it tougher for hackers to crack your device. If your wearable device supports MFA, use it for extra data security. An even safer method when setting MFA is using authentication apps like Google Authenticator for code verification instead of text message codes, as texts can be uncovered by a hacker through SIM swap fraud.


4.     Keep Your Firmware Updated

The latest updates for your device often contain security upgrades. Having the latest updates is then vital for the functionality and security of your wearable devices. Setting your device to update automatically will remove the need to manually check and update your devices every time there is an update notification.


5.     Research Before Buying a Wearable Device

Before buying a new wearable device, research the manufacturer’s track record on security. You need to check whether the company has exposed their data due to failed data security or otherwise left their users open to attack. Your mode of research can be reviews, comments, and news articles about manufacturers. Check if the wearable product manufacturer provides multiple levels of protection, like software encryption of data and multi-factor authentication.


6.     Secure Your WiFi Router

Your wearable devices might be connected to your home WiFi network. All your personal data related to health, location, calls, etc., is shared through this network. The network and WiFi are the first lines of defence against hackers. Strengthening the security of your router is another important step in securing your data. Make sure you have set a strong WiFi password. Also, change the name of your router so that it doesn't give away your identity or address. Along with this, you also need to ensure that your router has WPA2 encryption to keep your network connection secure. Avoid connecting to public WiFi as it is an unsecured network through which anyone can steal data.


7.     Use VPN as Additional Security Layer

An additional security measure to tighten your data security is using a Virtual Private Network (VPN). VPN creates an encrypted connection over which you can securely send and receive data. A hacker attempting to get into your network won’t be able to see your actual data. If you are using your work WiFi or connecting to a new network, it is safer to use VPN to connect to that network.


8.     Regularly Backup Files

Despite recent advancements in data security, backups remain a strong safeguard against cyber threats. Regular backups, along with a robust and comprehensive backup system provided by the wearable device manufacturer, will ensure tighter data security. The best practice for backup is the 3-2-1 rule - make 3 copies of data, store across 2 forms of media, and keep one copy offsite. The company should isolate the offsite backup location from the company network.


As the ubiquity of wearable devices has increased, so has their vulnerability to cyberattacks. Taking these measures can protect your wearable devices, so you can continue enjoying the benefits of wearable devices without worrying about data security issues.


GajShield can guide you in strengthening the data security of your wearable devices. Contact us to know more about our data security solutions.




Get In Touch With Us

Subscribe to our Newsletter
Please fill the required field.

Stay Connected

2024 © GajShield Infotech (I) Pvt. Ltd. All rights reserved.