Computerworld - I have seen the future of home computing, and it is the iPad. I'm convinced of it.
Yes, iPadurday has come and gone. Many of us have Wi-Fi iPads in our grubby little mitts. Early reviews have been mostly stellar. The device -- and more importantly, the software running it -- is superb, but certainly not perfect. And now we've seen Steve Jobs outline the next release of the operating system, iPhone OS 4.0. That's all well and good, but largely secondary to my point.
When I got my iPad, I immediately installed several software packages on it. Most of it was for entertainment (e.g., Netflix, ABC Reader), but I also installed a couple of apps that could at least ostensibly be used for business (e.g., Pages, Keynote). Each installation was simple: I ran the App Store application, found the tools I wanted, and clicked the purchase icon. Within moments, each package installed.
The installation process gave me absolutely no choice as far as where the software would reside on my iPad. In fact, I had no choices whatsoever beyond yes/no to purchase the apps.
Once the apps were installed, I was able to get some of my Keynote presentations and Pages documents over to my iPad via an iTunes synchronization to my MacBook Pro. (The need to do it that way is a separate topic, discussed below.) But here too, I had absolutely no way of controlling or choosing where the documents were placed on the iPad. Once I synchronized the device, the documents appeared for their respective applications.
For many of my fellow techies, the words "lack of choice" are the kiss of death for a device like this. But for the average consumer, "lack of choice" can be interpreted as "simple," by and large. And to get to the masses, simple never hurts.
So, what are the security ramifications here? Well, for one thing, there is no direct access to the file system without installing an app that gives you (limited) access to the iPad's file system. Yes, there are ways to "jailbreak" your iPad and get to the underlying file system, but short of some malware doing that "for" them, that's not something you'd find any consumers doing.
The apps themselves are at least somewhat sandboxed from one another. Data from one application isn't generally available to other applications. And application storage can't -- again, in the absence of jailbreaking -- be overwritten by another application.
Kenneth van Wyk
- Kenneth van Wyk: We can't just blame users
- Kenneth van Wyk: If you want developers to give a hoot about security, take a lesson from the squirrels
- Kenneth van Wyk: Looking beyond Heartbleed
- Kenneth van Wyk: Where mobile apps go wrong
- Kenneth van Wyk: Apple's big fail
- Kenneth van Wyk: After Snowden
- Kenneth van Wyk: Target breach underscores how backward U.S. payment tech is
- Kenneth van Wyk: Enjoy your trip, but protect the data you take with you
- Kenneth van Wyk: Lingering faults with security by default
- Kenneth van Wyk: High hopes for iPhone's Touch ID
- Securing Mobility, From Device to Network At one time, the process of managing and securing mobile devices and applications was fairly straightforward. Most organizations worried about one application (email)...
- Data Protection eGuide In this eGuide, CSO and sister publications IDG News Service, Computerworld, and CIO pull together news, trend, and how-to articles about the increasingly...
- Warning: Cloud Data at Risk Experts agree that relying on SaaS vendors to backup and restore your data is dangerous. Yet that's exactly what huge portions of the...
- The Opportunities and Challenges of the Cloud In this report F5 poses questions to IDC analysts, Sally Hudson and Phil Hochmuth, on behalf of F5's customers to better understand the...
- What should I look for in a Next Generation Firewall? SANS Provides Guidance With so many vendors claiming to have a Next Generation Firewall (NGFW), it can be difficult to tell what makes each one different....
- Responding to New SSL Cybersecurity Threat The featured Gartner research examines current strategies to address new SSL cybersecurity threats and vulnerabilities. All Security White Papers | Webcasts
Our new bimonthly Internet of Things newsletter helps you keep pace with the rapidly evolving technologies, trends and developments related to the IoT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!