Tablet use on the rise: BYOD security risks and considerations

Jun 05, 2015

2015-06-05 BYOD Tablet.jpgWith the rise of BYOD, many expected any and every mobile device to suddenly have an influx of new corporate users. In recent years, this was primarily true for smartphones and laptops, as in many cases employees leveraged these devices more than any other connected hardware. For the most part, though, tablets didn’t find their way into the corporate world on the same kind of scale that other mobile components did. However, all this is poised to change as tablets find a new niche within the enterprise sector.

Why is tablet use increasing in the business world?
ZDNet reported that recent Frost & Sullivan research found that the level of usage between tablets and smartphones is set to level out within the next two years. Researchers predicted that by 2016, smartphone use will decrease from its current level at 66 percent, to 58 percent overall. During the same time period, tablet use will steadily rise, increasing from today’s 49 percent to reach 56 percent. This signals an increased importance being placed on tablet use by employees both in and out of the office. Additionally, these findings show that while smartphones will remain a mainstay of organizations’ BYOD programs, additional considerations will have to be made for the expanding base of tablet users.

However, as tablets weren’t largely embraced by the business community in the past, many are wondering what has led to this industry shift. There have been several factors influencing how tablets are viewed in the corporate world, including the recent push by Apple to communicate how iPads could be helpful to enterprise users, noted eWEEK.

“The company has discussed the ways in which its iPads can appeal to corporate users, and on every earnings call, tells investors how many major companies are either testing or deploying the slate,” wrote eWEEK contributor Don Reisinger. “And since those figures are only increasing, it shouldn’t surprise anyone if iPad shipments to the enterprise soar in the coming years.”

Furthermore, as BYOD continues to permeate the corporate sector, the impact employees have on administrators’ decisions is on the rise. Reisinger noted that where the IT department would help company leaders establish most of the standards, nowadays workers are pushing into this territory to let decision-makers know what products and services they want to leverage.

BYOD security considerations needed for tablets
As tablets increasingly make their way into the hands of corporate employees, their supervisors will have to make many of the same considerations as they did with smartphones and laptops. As with any other mobile device, workers will need the right tools to mitigate any BYOD security risks that could affect protection company-owned content.

One such consideration involves sharing business files. Today’s staff members must have a protected platform over which they can send company files, make changes or adjustments and transmit them to others in the company. As tablets inherently come with more functionality than smartphones, the practice of sharing business files will likely take place on these devices instead. For this reason, it is critical that company leaders provide a secure file sharing platform for these activities to ensure that any BYOD security risks are avoided.