Because tablets are just naturally secure, right?

Pilot fish working for this state agency handles IT issues from one of the field offices, but it's a side responsibility -- his main job is as one of the agency's inspectors.

"Over the last year, the agency has been doing a field rollout with tablet computers to go paperless for our inspections," says fish. "The section managers just love their Surface tablets, which have all but replaced the laptops the managers have been packing for the last few years.

"I've had mine for only a month and am just now playing around with it and using it in the field, so I don't have much experience with the device or what programs are on the tablet beyond what we use for inspections."

But one day fish's boss calls him into her office in a panic: It seems that some adware and spyware have made it past the department's heavy-duty firewalls and anti-everything software to infect her tablet.

She's managed to get rid of some of the junkware, but she needs fish's admin access to finish cleaning up the ones she can't delete by herself.

OK, fish figures, no problem, he'll just fire up the anti-virus/adware/malware program, and...

But where is it? Fish checks the boss's tablet, but he can't find a firewall, an antivirus program or anything else protecting it.

He checks on his own tablet -- same thing. Huh? Central IT is pretty draconian about this stuff. What's happened to it?

Sighs fish, "Turns out no one thought about adding the malware program with its license to the tablets, since someone forgot that the tablets will operate in the wild outside of our agency on any hotspot Wi-Fi we can find in the field, not just behind our agency firewall in the office.

"I managed to get all of the malware off my manager's tablet with my little and limited bag of tricks, and IT had the security software pushed to her tablet within an hour of the call.

"And the department's antimalware program is now being pushed to the tablets as the tablets log onto the network."

Stay safe with Sharky. I'll file off the identifying marks when you send me your true tale of IT life at sharky@computerworld.com, and you'll snag a snazzy Shark shirt if I use it. Add your comments below, and read some great old tales in the Sharkives.

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