Security firm warns against Samsung Galaxy Tab for enterprise use

Security specialist Context Information Security says vulnerabilities in the Samsung Galaxy Tab make it unsuitable for use in the enterprise

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The Samsung Galaxy Tab is not suitable for enterprise use due to its serious security failings, according to security specialist Context Information Security.

Research conducted by Context Information Security examined the three most popular tablets to identify security strengths and weaknesses in their suitability for enterprise use. 

Context Information Security subjected the Samsung Galaxy Tab, the Apple iPad 2 and the BlackBerry PlayBook to scrutiny, focusing on data protection, software, access control, connectivity and synchronisation.

“I find it hard to recommend the Galaxy Tab as an enterprise tablet,” said Jonathon Roach, principal consultant at Context.

Context claimed the file system was weak because data stored under the SD card is not encrypted. 

Email attachments are stored there automatically and Roach said many users store information under the SD card to save space on the device, opening the possibility data breaches.

Context said the lack of enterprise-level management tools on the Galaxy Tab would make it difficult to control a large fleet of the devices.

Context claimed the Apple iPad 2 and the BlackBerry PlayBook were much more ready for enterprise deployment.

Suitability for BYOD programmes

The BlackBerry PlayBook was found to be far more advanced in its level of security and ideal for bring-your-own-device (BYOD) schemes. Context pinpointed its Bridge application as a key factor for IT in the workplace. 

The Bridge application ensures that, when using the tablet for work, it must be in close proximity to a BlackBerry phone. As soon as this connection is lost, the user cannot access work data.  

Apple's iPad 2 also offered surprisingly good levels of security for a domestic consumer device, said Context. The company praised its robust data protection and damage limitation facilities. However, the iPad 2 couldn’t stand up to the PlayBook, as it suffered from weaknesses when jailbroken.

None of the devices were completely 100% secure and Context advised that keeping firmware up to date with over-the-air updates is a key way to increase security. 

Context listed the mitigating steps users can take to reduce any risks associated with each tablet:

  • iPad 2 - In corporate environments, disable connection to iTunes via device policy;
  • Galaxy Tab - Enable disk encryption on all available partitions;
  • PlayBook - Use BlackBerry Balance to manage the device if in a corporate setting.

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I thought the tab had the option to encrypt the sd card! My note 10.1 does, which in my own opinion would be the enterprise choice.

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Seems like a bs article. Both the tab and the iPad have encryption options. And on the tab you have the option to encrypt external storage. We use a product called Soti to manage our samsung estate becuase their software lets our helpdesk (me) deploy software over the air and install it with out the user having to mess with the device and for support we do real time remote control on the device as you would rdp on a pc. Some of the execs have ipads and for thoes guys we just do email sync ota and password enforcement. I don't know if it will work on a playbook. My carrier introduced them to us and the vouched for the device security of iPad/galaxy tabs and soti. Getting a test device from the carrier for 4g can't wait.

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Which one have you got the note 10.1 or tab 2, I'm thinking of getting one myself unless we can get a loan one from our carrier.

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For external storage you get 3 options encrypt sd card (new files) encrypt everything and exlude media files.

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I got the Note 10.1 , though my original choice was the tab 2. They had both on demo side by side, other than the cpu and ram, the pen won me over. Incredibly useful when needed, which is quite often With how i use it.

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I agree. Would you trust a security company that works on assumptions, rather than fact. Silly article really

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It's the same as saying because you house has windows it is less secure. This kind of crap is really starting to bug me. Media outlets should check the source and validity of the story before throwing up the same crap.

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That's cool. The orange rep had a note 10.1 when he came to see us and showed the stylus on the Photoshop app. I was amazed. I don't think I will use the stylus but I can really see myself using the dualscreen (email or another app on one side of the screen and a browser on the other side. Plus I will be able to remote control it and use my keyboard/mouse for typing ;) starting next week we are giving controllerd access to the soti application for the tablets users to use themselves. Just for remote control one of the managers thinks it will improve take up and productivity.

Is the note 10.1 4g?

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I expect CW to ensure minimum journalistic standards to check source and accuracy of their articles. This is inaccurate and possibly biased

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Thanks for the feedback. We just wanted to point out that we were reporting on a piece of research that was conducted by Context Information Security, we were not passing comment on it. We will be happy to pass your concerns over to the company.

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You can read the detailed research report here: http://www.contextis.co.uk/res... - It should clear up any issues

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