Tablets at the Office: Friend or Foe?

BeyondTrust, May 27th, 2011

According to Gartner, worldwide media tablet spending is projected to reach $29.4 billion in 2011, up from $9.6 billion in 2010. Gartner also predicts that by 2013, 80 percent of the workforce will be using tablet devices. Whether workers are being issued tablets by their employers, or bringing in their personal devices, embracing tablet computers is very attractive for many enterprises looking to keep their employees connected, while reducing costs.

But mobile malware threats are on the rise. The recent detection of a Mac OS “crime kit” could also heavily impact iPad users and serves is an indicator of what we can potentially see in the future as tablet adoption continues to grow. Presently, most tablet end points are relatively unsecured, which is cause for concern as these devices connect to the corporate network. Data storage on untrusted end points must therefore be heavily weighed and controlled. There should always be a preference for enterprise data to remain on corporate assets, with remote access capabilities limited to secure, encrypted VPN connections else the potential for misuse of privilege will occur.

Adopting smartphone security best practices will help alleviate some of the headaches associated with tablets in your network environment. It’s also important to employ stringent access controls and make sure your end users only have access to what they need to in order to do their jobs.