Tag : OS

iPads Usage Up – Businesses have bought 2 Million Units

I was at a conference last week and saw a funny thing that I did not think would ensue so quickly in the technology and business environment.  Sitting in the meeting with 25 other people, both business and technical folks, about 80% of them had iPads which was shocking really.  More and more with our client base, iPads are starting to take over as the presentation tool and fun toy for the “c” level executives.  Several of my own team member here at BVA own and leverage iPads in business activity, but for the most part it’s not adding value in my humble view in a business perceptive.  It’s definitely moved into the benefit category as opposed to the NEED one.  That being said it is a nice product that has it’s place in the residential side as well as the educational sector.  The unit is not very secure and has alot of the security risks associated with the iPhone.  ??The iPad can be used to access networks via RDP session (remote session) and actually works very well and quick on the 3G network but that still raises the question of security and access points for your network.  I read an article here recently, that talked about how popular the iPad is with business and that a research company estimates that 2 million iPads have already been bought by companies with 1-99 employees. That is hard to believe but its a fact, the adoption rate is higher for companies with at least 20 employees.

The research article surfaced that the common uses for the device include demos, presentations, email, and Internet browsing. Larger businesses also use them as a tool when speaking with customers. Most of the businesses are using the iPad as a new gadget; it is not replacing PCs or other devices.  The research company believes that notebooks, netbooks, tablets, and smartphones will continue to coexist in the future as data moves into the cloud. Technically does not provide further statistics from its survey or the number of people and type of survey it conducted. Having said that, it is encouraging to see small businesses adopting a device like the iPad.

It will be interesting what Apple decides to do with their new market share in the business segment.  Will they decide to alter their OS code to be more desktop centric?  It’s a great way to penetrate a market that Apple quite frankly has ignored.

Windows Mobile 7 Phone Launch

Effective November 8, 2010 Microsoft kicks off the release of Windows Mobile 7, adding to the number of Exchange-ready phones available to the Business World. Pre-release reviews have been mixed, but even the most negative reviews I’ve seen, seem to see this OS as a serious player.  Initially on devices from AT&T and T-Mobile, Verizon and Sprint will also have phones, shortly into the next year. Phones will come from manufacturers LG, HTC, Samsung and Dell.  For more information on Windows Mobile 7, got to http://www.windowsphone7.com/.

To learn more about our launch lineup, check out the Windows Phone site (http://www.microsoft.com/windowsphone/en-us/buy/7/phones.aspx)

If you would also like to check out some mobile apps for the phone you can take a look at this site as well (http://www.microsoft.com/windowsphone/en-us/apps/default.aspx)

iPad and iPhone Can Be a Security Risk

BVA has found that these types of mobile devises if not provisioned correctly can seriously be a security risk to your network environment.  Security policies need to be set forth to ensure security at all levels of access.  Apple iPad tablet device as well as the iPhone is slowly becoming a legitimate business tool, your employees will soon have them in hand and invade your business. The reality is that the iPhone changes the playing field for security and really surprised IT consulting companies and their administrators when it got released.   The users needs versus wants changed completely where being able to have a Smartphone that just sync’s calendars, contacts, and emails changes drastically. The iPhone hit the scene and next thing we were getting requests for it to be integrated into a businesses mail environment immediately. These requests were coming from owners and directors, decision makers were being demanding about making it work, totally side-stepping the security protocols set forth by years of experience and best practice.  The bottom line is that the line between corporate tool and consumer gadget has not just been blurred; it has been completely erased.  There have been several studies that have shown that when asked, the iPad and iPhones present the greatest smartphone security risk for IT.  It’s a scary thought that you have locked down your environment but since a new gadget gets releases to the market and owners want it, it diminishes the integrity of the system.

There was recently a few contents by security outfits where they had people hack the iPhone in less than 2 minutes and won a cash price.  This is a scary thought and quite frankly shows how easy it can be for the non-hacker.  Obviously it might take a little longer from a less talented hacker but it can clearly be done.  Apple has little intention to make their OS more secure because it’s not the market that they are targeting.  Again they are targeting the consumer, not the business enterprise.  I am sure there will be a point in time when that day comes but it is not in the near future.  If Apple at the very minimum addressed just the enterprise security, supportability requirements, and new hardware level encryption.  I want to be very clear that the OS on the iPhone is the same as the iPad as well as its security. Apple targeted the iPad primarily as a media consumption gadget for the residential consumer, not the business community but again we have seen this shift.  I am not saying that you should ban the iPhone or iPad but develop policies and procedures that address the rules of engagement for integrating the iPad with your network environment.

As you develop the policies, keep in mind that the iPad is unique and could fall into a few different areas for policies.  Here are some key points to keep in mind:

•    delivers notebook-like functionality
•    smartphone OS platform
•    normally placed in the policy bucket for computer usage and security policies, not recommended
•    a good policy bucket to consider – smartphone usage and security policies (recommended)
•    same smartphone OS was hacked in less than 2 minutes

Make sure that whatever policy selected addresses the most important factor here which is allowing or denying the storage of confidential or sensitive information on the iPad, or how e-mail, instant messaging and other communications conducted through the iPad fit within archiving and compliance requirements.