Now that smartphones and tablets are widely used for business purposes and many employees use their own devices at work, security concerns are rising. Two-thirds of the respondents in our 2015 Consumerization of IT Survey say user-owned devices have had a significant impact on their corporate data security strategies. One of the major causes of the problem is that consumer-level devices are often not equipped enough to adequately handle all possible security breaches and threats. No wonder one IT director who responded to the survey says, “Generally speaking, there is not enough emphasis on security in consumer-level devices, and, for the most part, manufacturers build for the end-user, not for business.”
According to the survey, businesses tackle security issues in a variety of ways and employ software and network-based security measures of many kinds. These are implementation of a separate VLAN for user-owned devices, network-access control (NAC), mobile device management systems, data loss prevention (DLP) software, remote-wipe technology, mobile anti-malware or antivirus applications, mobile app management tools, intrusion prevention, and intrusion detection systems. Some companies combine several approaches into one.
Admittedly, tablets offer some measure of security, such as the fingerprint sensor on the iPad Air 2.
However, to safely use tablets for your business needs, you will need to implement additional security strategies. It is also recommended to have employees sign a technology use policy, where you will specify how the device and data will be monitored and what your IT team will be entitled to do in case of security threats. As one IT operations executive noted, “Make sure you put policies in place before flipping the switch, so to speak. We had learned the hard way, but, after seven years of doing mobile device management, we are now over that hurdle.”In addition, you will need to regularly educate your employees about the potential risks of tablet use and means of their prevention.