Kensington Steps Up Physical Security for iPad, iPhone

The company recently released several new products, including the SecureBack case for iPads and the BungeeAir series for iPhones, in an effort capitalize on both the boom in mobile devices as well as growing IT security concerns.

Kensington's SecureBack case for the iPad

The SecureBack case for Apple's iPad is based on a three-piece design and built with pry-resistant plastic. The case connects to Kensington's ClickSafe security anchor, which allows users to lock their iPads in one click like they would a traditional laptop. The SecureBack comes in two versions: one that comes with a 2-way extendable stand for typing and viewing angles, and one without the stand. Both models are bundled with Kensington's ClickSafe lock and cable that connects to the security anchor.

"Tablets are definitely moving into the business world," Brian Baltezore, senior global product manager at Kensington said. "Companies need to acknowledge that the landscape is changing and you need better security.

Kensington also introduced the BungeeAir family of wireless tether and cases for Apple's iPhone. The BungeeAir features a case for the iPhone that sends a signal to the BungeeAir Fob tether if the smartphone is lost or separated from the user's fob by more than 50 feet. The signal password-locks the iPhone screen and sends an alert to the BungeeAir Fob, which is similar to a car alarm Fob and can be attached easily to users' keychains.

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Kensington's BungeeAir Power for the iPhone

The BungeeAir Fob can then be used to locate the missing iPhone by triggering an alarm on the smartphone. A free companion application allows users to customize the settings like alerts and tether distances.

The BungeeAir comes in two versions. The BungeeAir Power comes with a battery case that provides four hours of extra power and enables the 2.4 GHz wireless tether signal. The BungeeAir Protect, meanwhile, doesn't have a battery in its case but instead comes with a 30-pin connector that enables the wireless connection to the BungeeAir Fob.

Baltezore said tablets and smartphones are permeating the enterprise, even if those companies aren't officially using them as business devices. As more and more employees bring mobile devices into the office, it increases the chances that a device could fall into the wrong hands and be used to circumvent a company's security measures. "Loss is the gateway to theft," he said. "Lost devices increase the risk of a data breach."

Kensington cited a 2010 study by McAfee that showed more than a third of mobile device losses had a financial impact on the organization, and two-thirds of companies that had mobile devices lost or stolen subsequently increased their security. The study also revealed that mobile devices now outnumber desktops as the most-used computer for business purposes among survey respondents. Nearly two thirds of employees are accessing corporate networks from tablets, laptops or smartphones, the study showed.

The SecureBack case is currently available for $49.99, and the version with the two-way stand will launch in two weeks for $59.99. The ClickSafe lock and cable add-ons cost an extra $30. The BungeeAir Power is currently available for $99.99, while the BungeeAir Protect is scheduled to launch next month for $79.99.

Baltezore said both product series will be sold through e-tailers as well as channel partners. He also said Kensington is planning on versions of the SecureBack and BungeeAir cases for Android smartphones and other tablet models.