Are iPads Welcome in Your Office?

By Mike Foster

These days, the chief executives and other leaders in the organization ask IT to connect their Apple iPad into their businesses. One of the more frequent questions chief executives, as well as their IT professionals, ask is if the iPad is secure in the office.

In my estimation, generally speaking, Microsoft exceeds in the enterprise company networks because of, among other reasons, the manageability of Microsoft networks. On the other hand, Apple is wildly successful in the consumer market for personal devices.

Expecting Microsoft to be the top performer in personal devices and/or expecting Apple to rein in the business networks of the world is, in my opinion, unreasonable. Yes, before Apple fans get their feathers all ruffled, there are exceptions to Apple working in business — especially for individual users connected to the corporate network. Additionally, new managed services can help solve the problems some people notice associated with centrally maintaining several Apple devices on the same network.

Apple is, in my estimation, working hard to get the iPad accepted and implemented in offices. To that end, Apple has adopted some security and business integration measures.

In summary, security features include:

  • Support for WPA2 for Wi-Fi security (both PSK and Enterprise);
  • Support for VPNs;
  • Password support including options for complexity, length, forced changes, lockout, etc.;
  • Integration with Microsoft Exchange;
  • Ability for the IT department to enforce policies;
  • Remote data wipe; and
  • PKI support including code signing requirements.

Many of our clients are integrating the iPad into their organizations. Will you or have you already used the iPad and/or another slate device on your corporate network? Please post your comments on this blog and let us know.

Mike Foster, CISA, CISSP, is the founder and CEO of Foster Institute. He is a technology expert, author and professional speaker with more than 1,000 presentations under his belt. Mike is author of The Secure CEO: How to Protect Your Computer Systems, Your Company, and Your Job and is regularly sought for interviews and business publication features. He’s been interviewed by USA Today, Forbes Magazine, and The New York Times, as well as many others.
Originally published: Nov 20, 2011

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