Perimeter
2/24/2011
03:23 PM
Rob Enderle
Rob Enderle
Commentary
50%
50%

FileMaker For Securing iPads At Work

Rather than just saying "no" to the iPad at the office, consider this inexpensive way to secure these tablets

One of the biggest trends in business at the moment is companies using iPads instead of laptops for mobile employees -- and it's driving IT managers nuts.

As with most trendy products, starting from Windows 95 and up to the current iPad, that weren't really designed for business IT, many, if not most, companies just say "no." In fact, I've seen a lot of IT careers end over saying "no," as well as a number enhanced by finding ways to give users, line managers, and, especially, executives, what they want.

There currently are two favored methods of getting the iPad to work securely, particularly in areas like healthcare, which has always favored tablets but has extreme security requirements. The most common way to secure an iPad is by using Citrix, but one I hadn't thought about was using FileMaker -- and it could be the faster and cheaper alternative.

FileMaker is a wholly owned subsidiary of Apple and a database company. The product's primary competition is probably Microsoft Access, and you might be surprised to learn that more of its customers are on Windows than Macs. It's known for ease of use and ease of development.

FileMaker also provides an interface into SQL databases against which you can quickly and cheaply design PC interfaces. The newly released FileMaker Go for the iPad has similar capabilities, allowing a firm to create an interface quickly for an iPad for any existing SQL database like patent records. The records remain on the host server, never moving to the iPad. This last point is important because the iPad does not meet minimal security requirements, yet may not need to if the data never actually resides on the device except the current file for viewing, which isn't archived. In other words, once the current login expires, there is nothing on the device that is confidential were it to be compromised. This is the same advantage of Citrix, which basically screen-scrapes a more secure device, leaving the iPad unexposed. Citrix is more universal, but much more expensive. So if you are being pressured to provide iPad access to secure information. and if it resides in a SQL database, then consider FileMaker as an inexpensive alternative. You may find it is vastly easier to learn than having to code a native iPad client, and far cheaper than Citrix to implement. It won't work everywhere, but it could be the best Apple-sourced alternative in terms of labor and financial cost.

-- Rob Enderle is president and founder of Enderle Group. Special to Dark Reading.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading, January 2015
To find and fix exploits aimed directly at your business, stop waiting for alerts and become a proactive hunter.
Flash Poll
Title Partner’s Role in Perimeter Security
Title Partner’s Role in Perimeter Security
Considering how prevalent third-party attacks are, we need to ask hard questions about how partners and suppliers are safeguarding systems and data.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-3580
Published: 2014-12-18
The mod_dav_svn Apache HTTPD server module in Apache Subversion 1.x before 1.7.19 and 1.8.x before 1.8.11 allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (NULL pointer dereference and server crash) via a REPORT request for a resource that does not exist.

CVE-2014-6076
Published: 2014-12-18
IBM Security Access Manager for Mobile 8.x before 8.0.1 and Security Access Manager for Web 7.x before 7.0.0 FP10 and 8.x before 8.0.1 allow remote attackers to conduct clickjacking attacks via a crafted web site.

CVE-2014-6077
Published: 2014-12-18
Cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerability in IBM Security Access Manager for Mobile 8.x before 8.0.1 and Security Access Manager for Web 7.x before 7.0.0 FP10 and 8.x before 8.0.1 allows remote attackers to hijack the authentication of arbitrary users for requests that insert XSS sequences.

CVE-2014-6078
Published: 2014-12-18
IBM Security Access Manager for Mobile 8.x before 8.0.1 and Security Access Manager for Web 7.x before 7.0.0 FP10 and 8.x before 8.0.1 do not have a lockout period after invalid login attempts, which makes it easier for remote attackers to obtain admin access via a brute-force attack.

CVE-2014-6080
Published: 2014-12-18
SQL injection vulnerability in IBM Security Access Manager for Mobile 8.x before 8.0.1 and Security Access Manager for Web 7.x before 7.0.0 FP10 and 8.x before 8.0.1 allows remote authenticated users to execute arbitrary SQL commands via unspecified vectors.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Join us Wednesday, Dec. 17 at 1 p.m. Eastern Time to hear what employers are really looking for in a chief information security officer -- it may not be what you think.