By Philip Cohen, special to Overdrive
BYOD: It’s the new trend in corporate technology use. BYOD, or Bring Your Own Device, is a policy that many enterprising corporations—from small to large—have adopted in the workplace. According to a study performed by the U.K. firm Context Information Security, the is the tablet best suited for those hoping to become part of this trend.
In many ways, Bring Your Own Device is a mutually beneficial practice. Corporations don’t have to pay to supply their employees with new devices, and employees don’t have to juggle operating a work phone and a personal phone. They don’t have to buy and use two different tablets just to meet company policy. In addition, they receive the tech support many companies offer.
But for employees, it also brings up some challenges, too. The tablet now has to meet a wider variety of needs, be more secure, be more dependable and also be compatible with a more diverse array of other devices. So which tablets are up to the task? The study performed by Context Information Security compared three leading tablet models: the BlackBerry PlayBook, the Apple iPad 2 and the Samsung Galaxy Tab. The study found that BlackBerry’s PlayBook and Apple’s iPad 2 performed capably in a workplace setting. The Samsung Galaxy Tab, however, did not.
The Context Information Security study focused primarily on security issues such as access control, security configuration profiles, software updates and, most importantly, data protection. While both the PlayBook and the iPad 2 needed to feature more strict security to become completely corporation-ready, their security features seemed adequate for most corporate settings.
The study pointed out that media files are backed up on both the PlayBook and the iPad 2 in clear text, making it more easily accessible for potential hackers. This isn’t a problem for users trying to store Katy Perry’s latest single, but it presents a greater risk for those hoping to keep confidential corporate data secret.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab is flawed much more seriously, according to the study. The Samsung Galaxy Tab may leave its own operating system vulnerable to malware, as it does not come with a locked bootloader. Additionally, the study deemed that support for data encryption in the Galaxy Tab was far too weak.
Between the PlayBook and the iPad 2, the study found that the iPad contained very little corporate management software. This shortcoming makes it difficult to use the iPad 2 with other tablets in a corporate setting. With networking within companies becoming more important every day, Context Information Security decided to label this a concern.
When testing the iPad, the conductors of the study also found it difficult to separate work data from personal data. It did not have a built-in system for sorting and balancing the two categories while providing continued ease of access. The study, which sought to determine which tablet most sufficiently supported both professional and personal use, determined that the BlackBerry PlayBook was the most versatile of the three tablets tested.