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Firms Must Take Tablets With A Dose Of Enterprise-grade Security

Since Apple unveiled its iPad device in 2010, demand for tablet PCs has skyrocketed. Last year alone, more than 17 million tablets were sold worldwide, and this year sales are expected to surpass 55 million, according to estimates from analysts at Juniper Research. Although they were originally designed with consumers in mind, tablets have proven to be incredibly popular with businesses too.

Organisations across the globe have recognised that tablets can be very useful tools, enabling staff to stay in touch whilst on the go, update reports in real-time and access corporate applications wherever they are. For sales teams the ability to present product information, videos and case studies to prospective customers on a tablet, is helping to boost businesses' bottom lines by engaging potential customers much more effectively than with traditional paper brochures. In some companies, tablets have proven so handy that they are now replacing laptops and desktop PCs as many workers' main computer.

However businesses should not sacrifice security and control in order to get the functionality and efficiency benefits that tablet devices offer. As with all mobile devices, the data that is held on them can be incredibly valuable to its organisation. This is making tablets a key target for cyber criminals who are on the hunt for this high value information - no matter where it's saved.

It's for this reason that mobile threats have rocketed during the last few years. The threats are pervasive; devices can be infected by downloading a malicious application, clicking on an infected link or connecting to an unsecured public WiFi connection. Not to mention the risk of criminals going through the 'front door' and attempting to access information held on a lost or stolen device.

Despite concerns about security, businesses know that they can't stem the tide of adding new devices and operating systems to their workforce - they would risk falling behind the competition. With that in mind, analyst house Forrester predicts that more than 33 per cent of enterprises support multiple mobile operating systems. But this brings up another challenge, how businesses can manage, monitor and control the tablets and mobiles that are in use throughout their organisation.

As we look to the future, it's clear that organisations of all sizes are moving towards mobile workforces. In order to make this transition as smooth and easy as possible, issues with security and management must be addressed. To make sure that corporate data and emails are fully protected, businesses should invest in a solution that will allow them to securely deploy and manage a wide variety of different tablet and mobile devices. By placing confidential information inside a secure app environment and behind an enterprise-grade firewall, organisations can ensure that information is kept safe and sound.

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.