It doesn't look like IT can hide from the Android OS for much longer, thanks to Amazon's recent announcement of its Kindle Fire tablet - due to start shipping on Nov. 15. As Tom Kaneshige of CIO.com reports, the Wi-Fi-only, 7-inch tablet's $199 price tag puts the heat on Apple's much higher-priced iPad, making it appealing to consumers looking for a cheaper tablet to bring into the workplace. But with that adoption come new security headaches for IT.
According to Ojas Rege, VP of product at MobileIron,
Anytime a new device with broad scale distribution hits the market, users are going to try to connect it to the enterprise. The Kindle Fire is going to increase the pressure on IT to support Android even as it increases complexity.
Over at InformationWeek, Michael A. Davis highlights some of the issues surrounding the Android tablet that might interfere with existing security practices, such as a lack of support from mobile device management (MDM) vendors. And if you do find an MDM client, Davis points out that it "may not function properly on the Kindle Fire, at least at first."
All is not lost, however. Davis goes on to mention several practices IT departments can implement to prepare for the Fire's inevitable arrival, such as buying two or three of the devices and giving them to security staff to get a firm handle on its capabilities and possible shortcomings.