News.Com.Au – Get Your Facts Straight on iPad Security

Today, I saw an article on entitled “Business not ready to embrace ‘open’ iPad”. In a nuthsell, the article attempted to relate the comments from an Ovum analyst (specifically around the use of the iPad including the freedom to install applications) with an event in the US that saw details of 114,000 customers exposed by simulating a webpage request from a standard computer to make it look like the iPad Safari browser. More specifics on this problem can be found here.

Another obvious error in the article is the following statement:

“There is also no way for IT administrators to remotely wipe the iPad – unlike the iPhone – should it be lost or stolen.”

Garbage. A quick look at Apple’s iPad Security Overview document uncovers the following from the third page:

Remote wipe

iPad supports remote wipe. If a device is lost or stolen, the administrator or device owner can issue a remote wipe command that removes all data and deactivates the device. If the device is configured with an Exchange account, the administrator can initiate a remote wipe command using the Exchange Management Console (Exchange Server 2007) or the Exchange ActiveSync Mobile Administration Web tool (Exchange Server 2003 or 2007). Users of Exchange Server 2007 can also initiate remote wipe commands directly using Outlook Web Access.

Also, looking back on the second page, the document quite clearly states how the installation of apps can be controlled:

Device restrictions

Device restrictions determine which iPad features your users can access. Typically, these involve network-enabled applications such as Safari, YouTube, or the iTunes Store, but restrictions can also control actions such as application installations. Device restrictions allow you to appropriately confgure the device and set permissions for employees to use the device in ways that are consistent with your business practices. Restrictions are enforced using a confguration profle, or they can be manually confgured on each device.

Sloppy journalism on the part of and Mitchell Bingemann. The last thing we need is rubbish tech journalism in Australia muddying the waters.

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