Q: Is the new Apple iPad safe to put on my wireless network?

A: There are two kinds of iPad 3 (also called "the new iPad" or iPad 2012): those with cellular data capability and those without. The security approaches that you should consider differ between the cellular-capable and WiFi-only models. For information about WiFi iPad security, see " Apple iPads On Corporate Wi-Fi."

The WiFi + 4G cellular model is a bit more of a concern than the other option. The cellular model comes with built-in Internet-sharing capability, turning it into a hotspot. This feature is appealing, especially because the Verizon iPad data plan has no hotspot surcharge. So the likelihood of users connecting to the Internet without going through corporate filters and firewalls is pretty high. And although as of this writing there is no easy way for Internet-based attackers to tunnel through the 4G connection to your network, that type of attack is probably not far away.

The conservative play is to create a policy and let users know that when they use the new iPad at work, they can connect to either 4G or the corporate WiFi—but not both at the same time. You can also advise users against turning on the hotspot feature, both for their own benefit (e.g., increased battery life, lower 4G data use) and to improve corporate security. This approach keeps everyone happy and minimizes the potential impact of future threats, while working around the fact that no iPad configuration setting prevents simultaneous network connections.

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