How The Samsung Gear Smart Watch Solves A Major Security Problem

How The Samsung Gear Smart Watch Solves A Major Security Problem

Samsung’s much-anticipated Galaxy Gear smart watch was officially launched today. One potential advantage it offers you might not have thought of? Improved identity and access management.

Forrester analyst Andras Cser points out using the watch to authenticate apps running on the smartphone eliminates one common criticism of two-factor authentication: that there’s no point using your phone to authenticate (via SMS or other means) if it’s also where you’re logging into an app:

If the watch is on your wrist, an application running on the smartphone, mobile device or even a PC will sense the proximity of the smartwatch and thus authenticate and let you in. Without the smartwatch being nearby, you won’t be able to (easily) log into the mobile application.

Your watch is also less likely to be stolen, though obviously there are risks at the gym. Cser also notes that using a watch for NFC payments is less hassle than fishing out your phone. Using a watch for authentication seems a good idea, though persuading your boss to pay for a company-wide deployment might be trickier.

What does the smart watch mean for IAM? [Forrester Blogs]


  • I’ll be happy when Australian banks support NFC payments without the need for some extra hardware/sim/etc. Then NFC in a watch might actually be worthwhile.

    • Well it’ll eventually work with most new Galaxy devices (they are working in getting it going on the S4 and Note II, and it’ll assumably work with the S5 and the new Galaxy mini and megas and stuff eventually) but the major dealbreaker for me is that it’ll only work with Samsung phones.

  • I would have thought that if anything, using an NFC enabled watch (or even just NFC anything) would be a potential security risk. Yes, more convenient; but I fail to see how it is inherently more secure.

  • But the data still goes through the phone? Can’t see how that could be secure realistically, especially on a rooted android device.

    Though perhaps better than nothing..

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