HERE'S WHY WINDOWS 8 TABLETS REALLY DO HAVE A FUTURE, IN BUSINESS AT LEAST
by By Steve Ranger in Tech Decision Maker, November 11, 2013, 3:15 AM PST // @steveranger
Comments by Michael Flavin Saalex Info Tech
Windows tablets have until now struggled to generate much demand in what should be home territory – business.
Some of this is down to badly thought out products – indeed, Microsoft was so underwhelmed by the hardware manufacturers poor attempts at Windows tablets that it had to build its own, the Surface, which has so far had limited success in the marketplace.
Other reasons for limited take-up include cash-strapped businesses being unwilling to splash out on yet another device, the lack of clear business benefits of tablets and the unexpected willingness of staff to buy their own devices instead.
But whatever the reason, the result has been that around 85 percent of the tablets used in business are either iPads or Android devices (or Amazon’s Kindle Fire version of Android). And while PC makers have struggled to compete with either cheap Android or the more expensive Apple devices, they could soon find some respite in the business market.
When asked “Is there a real demand for Windows 8 tablets in business?” TechRepublic’s CIO Jury of tech decision makers voted ‘yes’ by a margin of nine to three, suggesting Windows 8 tablets may gradually start to make an impact with business users at least.
Matthew Oakley, group head of IT at Schroders: “The ability to have a full (secure) corporate build laptop in a tablet with handwriting recognition that actually works without training is significant. Suddenly OneNote makes sense…Surface Pro2 is a bit heavy, we prefer the Lenovo – but the idea is one whose time is dawning (finally!).”
Some tech chiefs have already started to make the move to Windows tablet. For example, Shawn Beighle, CIO at the International Republican Institute said: “I’ve already moved off my laptop and am now working exclusively off of a Surface Pro 2. Using a USB 3.0 docking station, I have two full sized monitors going, which gives me three monitors total counting the Surface itself, a full size keyboard and mouse, external speakers, hardwired Ethernet network connection and an external printer.”
He added: “So far this little machine has taken everything that I’ve thrown at it, including running QuickBooks 2013, Lync, Skype, OneNote, Outlook, Excel, iMindMap, all while streaming music from Pandora and watching two different video streams on YouTube, and all at the same time. The cursor hasn’t even stuttered.”
I agree – my tests so far with the Windows Tablets have been compelling – especially for Sales and Corporate employees who are outside of the Firewall often – the Office Applications and multi-use capability is a great selling point. I believe we’ll see increased penetration of Windows Tablets as lifecycles of older laptops come to end of life.
Here’s the rest of the article from WSJ.com as credited above…
A search by The Wall Street Journal of the website, 4shared.com, turned up information from three nursing homes: the Bronx Center for Rehabilitation & Healthcare in New York; the Glengariff Healthcare Center in Glen Cove, N.Y.; and the Campbell Hall Rehabilitation Center in Campbell Hall, N.Y.
The 4shared.com site is a free file-sharing site, one of several where hackers go to dump data, security experts said. The site didn’t respond to requests for comment.
Glengariff said it hadn’t realized that its information was online until the center was contacted by the Journal. A Glengariff spokesman said its document on 4shared.com, which contained network passwords, was from 2007, when the facility initially installed SigmaCare medical-records software and that the passwords had been changed immediately after installation so there is no longer any risk.
The spokesman said the facility hadn’t been notified that any patient medical or identity data was stolen.
Bronx Center said it learned of the security breach in early 2012 and switched security providers. There have been no reported incidents of stolen identities, a spokesman said.
The Campbell Hall Rehabilitation Center didn’t respond to requests for comment.
It wasn’t known whether any personal information was stolen as a result of the information on 4shared.com.
A document available on 4shared.com purporting to be from Campbell Hall included the brand of firewall, the networking switch, the Internet addresses of wireless access points for 11 rooms, precise blueprints of the facility, the locations of PCs and printers, and the encryption keys, usernames and passwords granting access to the network.
Cybersecurity experts said the documents for the three nursing homes likely were posted to 4shared.com by people who gained access to SigmaCare software, which is designed by eHealth Solutions Inc., a closely held company based in New York.
EHealth Solutions Chief Executive Stephen Pacicco acknowledged that confidential SigmaCare files were posted online but he didn’t know how they were obtained.
“Even with that access, you would not be able to access personal health information,” he said. SigmaCare encrypts personal records, he said.
Health-care organizations increasingly are having trouble protecting data because medical equipment, such as dialysis and imaging machines, can be serviced through the Internet. That often is so the machines’ software can be administered or updated remotely. There also are many more entry points where cybercriminals potentially can enter a health-care facility to try to access electronic medical records or billing systems, which have credit-card data.
The push to digitize medical records means that a treasure trove of data is online for hackers to target.
Armed with administrator passwords, for example, it would be easy to gain entry into the network of a health-care facility and install malicious software designed to capture passwords to the medical-records database, said John Pescatore, a director at the SANS Institute, a cybersecurity research and educational organization. He didn’t given any example in which such a breach had occurred.
Confidential medical information from a range of providers was discovered on 4shared.com by Norse Corp., a cybersecurity firm based in San Mateo, Calif. The networks of about 375 U.S.-based health-related institutions, including hospitals, physicians’ offices, pharmaceutical companies and health-plan managers were compromised by hackers for various purposes from September through October of last year, according to Norse. Some of that information ends up on sites such as 4shared.com.
The SANS Institute corroborated widespread problems with hackers infiltrating health-care networks and plans to issue a report on the vulnerabilities Wednesday. The report finds that security practices at health-care companies generally aren’t keeping pace with the high volume of attacks. Researchers from the institute found evidence of hacked dialysis and MRI machines and compromised personal health information. It isn’t known what was done with the data.
As more companies begin to equip industrial equipment with networked software and sensors, cybersecurity is a growing concern, said Patrick Miller, the managing principal of Anfield Group LLC, a security-consulting firm.
Federal health-care regulations mandate that the privacy and security of medical data be strictly controlled.
Medical records sell for about $60 apiece on the black market, while credit-card information typically goes for about $20, said Norse CEO Sam Glines. Medical records are “more valuable because you can do more with it, including Medicare fraud and prescription fraud,” he said.
“The bad guys in the cyberuniverse have definitely set their sights on health-care records,” said Larry Ponemon, chairman of the Ponemon Institute, a privacy and data-protection research firm.
Write to Rachael King at Rachael.King@wsj.com