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Out of the box, iPad does lack some security features, like device encryption, but these gaps can be addressed through add-on applications and controls. When businesses deploy large numbers of iPads, they've got plenty of security options, depending on what sort of users will be taking the devices out into the field.
"We see customers that are just deploying standard security with iPads, and we have others that are looking for more control over the devices, by using third party applications like Good Technology or running Citrix from their back ends," said Bob Venero, CEO of Future Tech, a Holbrook, N.Y.-based HP partner
Apple's tight control over application distribution, and its generally quick response in patching iOS vulnerabilities that have emerged, are also behind the iPad's solid security track record to date.
"The reality is that the iPad has held up very well against attack so far,” said Peter Bybee, president and CEO of San Diego, Calif.-based Security On-Demand, a managed security services provider. "Ultimately, what companies should focus on is controlling the access of external devices.
With Windows 8 tablets expected to arrive later this year, HP is looking for any advantage it can find to get organizations to hold off on buying iPads. In Whitman's view, HP's advantage over Apple lies in its ability to solve the IT challenges of BYOD.
"If we can provide devices that consumers really want … then we have an opportunity to solve problems for the enterprise and small and medium business segments with products that their employees like and are also secure in terms of protecting the enterprise's data," Whitman said.