Apple iPad Drives Security, Bandwidth Needs, Says Amtel CEO

The third-generation Apple iPad is available at Apple Stores today. For consumers, it's a new Apple product that they will no doubt grab off the shelves (or purchase online) at a rapid pace. But for businesses, or more specifically for business IT departments and MSPs, the new iPad is another product that they must support and manage from a security perspective. And According to Amtel CEO PJ Gupta, the new iPad presents new issues for IT departments to grapple with. The most glaring of all? Added bandwidth.

"The new iPad is a great product," Gupta told me during a recent conversation. "Its speed and graphics are enhanced. But they are heavy bandwidth-consuming devices."

The heavy bandwidth use is great news for carriers who are clearly happy to hear that companies will likely have to buy more bandwidth in order to support the new iPad once the tablets become more prevalent within corporate environments. But bandwidth is a big expense for businesses. According to Gupta, T1 bandwidth can cost a business anywhere from $300 - $600 per month. And that doesn't even include the potential need to upgrade in-house routers just to be able to purchase more bandwidth.

Controlling Bandwidth

Gupta says there are measures companies can take to limit the use of bandwidth. "They [companies] can set up automatic alerts to be sent to users when they are reaching certain bandwidth thresholds," Gupta explained. "They can also restrict streaming media like video and audio."

The good news for businesses? Gupta referred to the iPad as "more of a corporate level device." Translation? The BYOD trend in the workplace, as far as the employee level, is "predominantly an Android and iPhone environment," according to Gupta. So companies don't necessarily need to worry about hundreds of new iPads coming onto their networks. They do, however, need to closely monitor the bandwidth use of field sales teams that are using mostly iPads when working with customers outside of the corporate office. Gupta said that the CIOs he has spoken with are planning to allow the new iPad onto their corporate networks but restrict any streaming media.

Mobile Security Policy

Gupta also reiterated the need for companies to set a security policy before these devices hit their networks. It's something that Gupta stressed in one of our previous conversations.

"The new iPad is a top-class product, but we need to be able to manage it from a security perspective," Gupta said. "It has lots of capabilities so being able to do things like encryption and other security jobs is very critical. Businesses need to put a security policy in place."


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