Ensuring security in a changing tech environment

April 01, 2014

Technology is in a constant state of flux as new devices are released and manufacturers make inroads towards establishing new device categories.

For consumers, this means a constant range of new, exciting devices to choose from, whether they're mobile phones or desktop computers. For businesses, this means tough purchasing considerations, as a variety of factors need to be considered. One area that may be overlooked with new machine purchases throughout this year is security.

"We will see where dedicated devices (such as tablets), or hybrid devices (detachable or convertible devices), fit in the overall portfolio of devices," said Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner.

New devices running new versions of software are likely to become part of business adoption strategies, replacing traditional machines due to efficiency and productivity gains. Businesses leaving desktop and laptop PCs and rushing onto new operating systems could face security risks, however.

"The traditional PC category continues to decrease, with only about two-thirds of notebook and desktop replacements remaining within this category."

A business introducing tablets as replacements for laptops could face both an unfamiliar operating system to learn, and a host of potential security risks. Businesses will need to properly test operating systems and software on new devices before distributing them into the business environment.

Failing to properly run penetration testing, for example, can result in malware infections from fraudulent applications. If these types of viruses are introduced to a wider business network, significant troubles can arise. The risk of this will continue throughout 2014 as businesses adopt new devices.

"Tablet substitution of notebooks will start to dissipate from this year onwards as consumers and businesses align the right device with the right usage pattern," he said.

As with any new technology adoption, proper security precautions need to be taken before integration with business networks and software.

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