A way to lock down public-facing iPads
- By John Breeden II
- Apr 05, 2013
iPads are finding their way into the public-sector workplace. Most of these units are likely going to be assigned to a single user or come into an agency as part of a “bring your own device” strategy. But iPads could also be deployed in more public settings, acting as information kiosks, shared control panels or even as a way for government agencies to accept payments.
The problem is that unguarded devices have a tendency to walk away and never come back. They get stolen.
Kensington, a company most people know for securing desktop and laptop computers with a series of physical locking devices, is trying to help iPads move from personal devices to public-facing roles with the addition of extra security features.
Tablets are enabling businesses and agencies to adopt Single Use-Multi User (SUMU) environments. It’s also increasingly common for field personnel to use a tablet to record information while out of the office, another form of SUMU. In educational institutions, tablets are used in the classroom or lab environments by students, from elementary school to college. Airports, tradeshows, events and hospitality businesses frequently also use tablets as a kiosk to check in, sign up and to browse services.
“So many technology products today are engineered for the individual versus the shared business environment that we call Single Use-Multi User, or SUMU,” said Rob Humphrey, Director Security Products, Global Business Kensington. “It’s an area of the market that has a growing demand for solutions that safeguard mobile devices, without inhibiting the efficiency of user interaction in a business setting.”
The new Kensington SecureBack M Series of enclosures for iPad enhances the company’s existing line of accessories that support business deployments of tablets. Collections range from Kensington’s SecureBack Security Cases, Point of Sale Stands, SafeGrip Cases for Education and multiple tablet power products. All of the designs are built to optimize device management across organizations, regardless of size.
The Kensington SecureBack M Series Modular Payment Enclosure for iPad accommodates a host of credit card swipe devices including Square, PayPal, and UniMag II. It’s completely compatible with the iPad 2, 3 and 4. It goes on sale this month for $89.99.
The SecureBack M works seamlessly with the ClickSafe lock (sold separately) for security in a click with no keys and no fiddling. It wraps the iPad in a rugged, low profile case that protects it from bumps and scratches. There are even built-in cover plates for the power button and volume control. Like the SecureBack M, the ClickSafe is compatible with the iPad 2, 3 and 4. It will be priced at $69.
The M Series enclosures let users add an adjustable kickstand to keep the iPad standing upright for easier typing and viewing. The Kickstand is rubberized to prevent the iPad from slipping and provides 180 degress of adjustability. The kickstand will sell for $24.
John Breeden II is a freelance technology writer for GCN.