[LINK] University of Adelaide and iPad

Steven Clark steven.clark at internode.on.net
Sun Sep 12 12:48:28 EST 2010


  On 11/09/2010 8:25 PM, Rachel Polanskis wrote:
>  I have been using this ipad now for a few months. I have come to the
>  conclusion that it is a very good 1.0 effort of a tablet. I think I
>  have used this more than my desktop while at home since I got it.
>  In the domestic area, I think it has done an excellent job delivering
>  what was promised. But I think there needs to be a rethink of the
>  device for education and enterprise applications. It's not the user
>  interface or walled garden that everyone talks about as being somehow
>  a reason not to have one, but the security of the device itself.

It can be hard to get non-technical users and decision-makers to 
understand that security isn't a single 'thing'.

Apple has done a pretty good job of bolting the iOS platform to their 
services. Generally speaking, the ipad/ipod/iphone *is* 'secure enough' 
for most users. Most users get what they expect: a very usable device, 
software that works, and are comforted in/by the knowledge that Apple 
verifies every app in the iTunes garden.

But, as you're suggesting here - Apple are targeting the consumer market 
rather than the enterprise market. And it's a strategy that's beginning 
to get serious traction. Rather than taking on MS and RIM head on, Apple 
is trying an end run around them. Get people *using* Apple devices - and 
as companies open up to end user devices, they're hoping people will 
take their Apple's with them into the corporate garden.

[It's already working inside Microsoft (and by some accounts, driving 
Ballmer crazy).]

>  Fundamentally, once you let an ipad or similar device onto your
>  network, it is pretty much the same as allowing a notebook computer
>  there. It allows various vectors for importing exploits to behind
>  the DMZ, for example. It can also host various cracking and hacking
>  tools, if you have it gaol broken. There are many implications of
>  these devices that I do not yet believe have been explored by
>  institutions and corporates that are misjudging the power of these
>  devices. The ipad is indeed a shiny toy and is in fact quite
>  practical, but there is a propensity to not consider these devices as
>  capable of doing more than just fart apps, or consumer oriented
>  applications. In the wrong hands, an ipad behind a DMZ can in fact
>  do alot of harm.

This is true of any device. A USB stick can be just as dangerous as a 
smartphone.

A Blackberry has to be carefully configured, or it's potentially even 
more troublesome than an iPhone.

>  I would like to think that future releases of the OS need to have
>  more enterprise level defaults built in, like only being able to bind
>  to network services after a proper login/auth process, perhaps LDAP
>  or shibbolized controls in place to restrict what the device can get
>  access to and so on.

The more complex the OS, the more difficult to get it to run on less 
hardware. Though some aspects of networking can be bolted down by 
offering *less* ^_^

>  I really love the device, in spite of still not being 100% used to
>  the keypad. But I believe these devices are going to cause more of a
>  headache than Win95 if not properly implemented.

Proper implementation, and proper care of and with the end users, is 
crucial to any ICT-enabled system :D

When I get one, I'm also getting the wireless keyboard :D

-- 
Steven R Clark, BSc(Hons) LLB/LP(Hons) /Flinders/, MACS, Barrister & 
Solicitor

PhD Scholar
School of Commerce, Division of Business
City West Campus, University of South Australia (UniSA)
http://people.unisa.edu.au/Steven.Clark

Deputy Director, Community Engagement Board (CEB)
Chair, Economic, Legal and Social Issues Committee (ELSIC)
Australian Computer Society (ACS)
http://www.acs.org.au/index.cfm?action=show&conID=acscas

*Disclaimer:* This is email is not legal advice. Comments and statements 
above are based on my understanding of the issues at hand, and my 
attempts to understand them. They are intended to add to, and elicit 
discussion. Unless explicitly stated otherwise, opinions and statements 
are mine, not those of UniSA or the ACS.


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