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AREA Research Project Takes on the Challenges of Enterprise AR Security

Over the coming weeks, the AREA will be regularly reporting on the progress being made on its first research project on security risks. This is the first installment in the series.

In 2015, cybercrime damage cost the world $3 trillion, according to one estimate. By 2021, that number is expected to grow to $6 trillion. So any enterprise contemplating new IT investments is paying particular attention to the security ramifications. AR is no exception. When introducing mobile, wearable AR systems to the enterprise, there is a high level of concern about data security. Headset and smart glasses designers are rarely data security experts, and their unconventional connected systems can represent new kinds of cyber threats to enterprise businesses.

The AREA recently commissioned an important study with Brainwaive LLC, headquartered in Huntsville, AL, to evaluate this mission-critical topic and help AREA members better understand and mitigate these risks. Tony Hodgson, CEO of Brainwaive – a cyber security and emerging technology advisory to enterprise clients – explained elements of the study.

“Initially, we’re creating the first-ever comprehensive report to identify and characterize the data security risks enterprise IT managers should be concerned about,” said Hodgson. “Our veteran cyber experts are then drawing from similar experiences they’ve had leading initiatives, such as development of the Industrial Internet Security Framework for IoT solutions (IISF) and IEEE data security standards, to create an AREA-branded Enterprise AR Security Framework.

We’re also creating a powerful AR Device Testing Protocol, so enterprise IT managers can thoroughly evaluate threat vectors and use-case suitability of different wearable AR systems.”

Also, AR device manufacturers will have new tools to evaluate their solutions before sending them into the marketplace.

“No one can eliminate all these evolving threats, but it will certainly help AR system developers sleep better at night knowing they’ve run their device through a comprehensive analysis to understand their defensive posture,” said Hodgson. “It will also provide them with a strong and supportable answer when clients ask, ‘How safe are your systems, anyway?’.”

Tony Hodgson is looking forward to making an impact with the research project.

“It’s exciting because AR-enabled systems are really beginning to emerge on the enterprise scene,” he said. “But the menagerie of devices and all the different ways they can be used presents new, invisible routes that malicious actors will take to dodge your defenses and infect your networks. This work sponsored by the AREA will certainly help companies understand what’s under the hood of these unique devices, so they can identify and mitigate these risks.”