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The Tablet Takeoff: How to Protect Your Data

by on July 14, 2011

No doubt about it, tablets are hot. And as the tablet’s cool factor continues to rise and tablet pricing begins to put these devices in the hands of the many, they’re becoming even hotter. Increasingly, users are looking for business reasons to move the tablet from the family room to the board room, to make it less of a toy and more of a tool. This trend is driving a growing demand to integrate the tablet into the enterprise.

With employees ranging from the office power user to the CEO clamoring for tablets in the workplace, IT has a role to play in helping the enterprise contain its excitement about tablets, at least long enough to approach their integration in a logical, thoughtful way that keeps data well managed and protected.

Tablets present a few challenges that IT will need to help the organization work through. Namely, like any mobile device, tablets will add to the growing volumes of data the organization must store and protect. Also like any mobile device, the tablet’s portability makes these growing volumes of data more vulnerable to loss or security threats.

With this in mind, the overall challenge that tablets present is this: How can IT balance user demands for the latest technology with the overriding need to protect the company’s valuable data? For starters:

  • Proactively develop and enforce a policy that specifically governs tablet use. Clearly state specific user requirements and limits, from security settings to restrictions on personal use.
  • Don’t store data on the device. Allow users to access applications through virtualization and web portals that eliminate the need for tablets to retain data. For e-mail, use a mobile device management solution to manage the device and provide a way to wipe the device clean of company data if it’s lost, stolen or disabled.
  • Store data securely and economically on tape. As tablets add to the data explosion, companies will need a cost-effective way to store this added volume. Tape, especially as part of an active archive strategy, can meet this need. As your library grows, you might want to consider using tape tracking software to organize backups better.

Don’t wait for a data breach to raise questions about how your data is protected. Get in front of the challenges that tablets raise, help the organization take a deep breath in the midst of the tablet frenzy, and proactively define your protection and retention strategy as it relates to tablets.

What does the adoption curve look like so far for tablets in your organization? And what new challenges do you see tablets presenting for IT?

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