US government contractor has altered iPad hardware to make the devices secure and safe for official usage
A US Federal Government contractor has modified the hardware of thousands of Apple iPads to allow government officials to securely use their tablet computers.
CACI, which provides information solutions and services in support of national security missions and government transformation for intelligence, defence, and federal civilian clients in the US, has modified iPad hardware to increase the devices' security for government usage, rather than use software to change or restrict how the device behaves.
According to Bloomberg, CACI's CEO, Dan Allen, commented that his company's choice of iPad's was driven by a new <a href='../FullArticle.aspx?newsid=1288'>US military mobile strategy</a>, created through a need to save costs, implemented in association with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
CACI's Allen claimed that the iPad's front and rear facing cameras plus its wireless capabilities were the biggest security threats.
On the modified devices, Allen told Bloomberg: 'It's a neutered iPad.'
David Gibson, vice president of strategy at data governance specialist, Varonis Systems, commented on CACI's approach to iPad security: 'While we don't know the exact details of the alteration or the specific risks CACI is mitigating, the first thing that comes to mind is restricting the ability to disseminate sensitive information via cellular networks through forwarding or saving to a cloud service; this would hold true for digital content on or accessible by the device, as well as anything the device could take a picture of, such as a prototype, rooms inside a building, blueprints or other documents.
'If the camera is eliminated, then the only way to get data onto the device is via the network or by manual entry. If the network is restricted to Wi-Fi, then network access can be more easily controlled by the organisation,' he noted.