Rugged Tablets – Where Mobility Meets Security

The use of tablet technology is growing rapidly, specifically in information sensitive verticals such as industry and government. Custom application software, rugged tablet design, and creative hardware additions make the tablet one of the most favored devices for mobile workers – but how does security factor in?

Military and Government

In the government sector as well as the military, security is even more crucial than in commercial industry verticals. Consumer-grade tablets come with accessible operating systems and when reset to factory default configuration, can be easily reused or sold, making the issue of potential theft a serious concern when planning on tablet deployment.

Built to Last

The tendency of consumer grade tablets to require constant updating from outside sources, and their obsolescence over time mean high replacement costs – to say nothing of tablets damaged by severe work environments. Rugged tablets are designed to last with durability that stands up to most challenges in the field, including extended temperatures, high humidity, vibration, impact, drop, liquid contact, sand/dust, and more.

Security

Security at multiple levels inside military and government organizations is also simplified with rugged tablets, as access card readability allows users to access only the information they are cleared to see. Closed networks allow for safe, secure data transmission and communication. Tablets designed to work only within a secure network are a better choice than consumer grade since they can’t be reconfigured to default and treated as new.

Consumer Repackaging Not Sufficient

Consumer grade tablets are not sufficient for use in the field for many reasons, no matter how the actual physical tablet is repackaged for a more “rugged” look. Issues include the following:

  • Insufficient ruggedness that addresses only drop and impact scenarios

  • Feature mismatch, and inability to mesh fully with other devices and protocols

  • Office to field failure, with lack of sunlight reading or water resistance

  • Short life cycles, as upgrades and changing tech cause obsolescence

  • Low levels of security that even use in a closed network may not resolve

Rugged tablets allow for device customization at the hardware, operating system, and application levels. Custom hardware and software results in a mobile device that takes the hard knocks and continues to perform with stellar marks for mobility and security.

Advantages of Rugged Tablets for Government Personnel

A constant priority across private and public sectors is productivity. The government vertical is one of the most important venues for modern computing infrastructures, budding technological advances, and seamless communication.

Security

Security is a top selling point for mobile wireless devices, and rugged tablets can be specifically designed to meet this need. Government information can be safely transmitted across secure wireless and cellular broadband networks, bridging the divide between indoor and outdoor tasks. Mobile devices within a secure network allow personnel to quickly relay information between administrators and those in the field.

Real Time Sharing

Instant communication is a broad benefit. A rugged tablet utilized in this way allows workers to share information in real time, cutting down on manual data transmission, and promoting the reception of critical data no matter the location or time. Analysis can also be performed in the closed system, preventing any breaches, and IT specialists can use high levels of encryption that protect data at the application level or the data layer.

Added Functionality

A CAC reader allows for secure data access restricted by level of security, so personnel can use the same tablet for specific data access with inbuilt security. Other data capture capabilities, such as barcode scanners, magnetic stripe readers (MSR), cameras, and radio frequency identification (RFID) mean streamlined operations using one device instead of several.

Durability

The rugged tablet also has the ability to withstand extreme environments, whether the harsh conditions result from weather, dust, grime, cold, or heat. Tablets can be used in warehouses, at docks, for field surveys, for inventory matching, and more.  Drops or vibrations that would crack lesser screens or damage housing can be easily withstood by rugged builds. Even static charge and moisture resistance can be improved.

Mobility

Sunlight readable screens allow for easy viewing in any kind of light or shade. Detachable keyboards make the tablet versatile from office to field, and stylus or even finger writing capabilities allow for fast note taking or sketching on the go, without the need to thumb type or attach a board.

As computing needs keep changing, the government must keep pace with rapidly evolving solutions that mesh security, mobility, and productivity. Rugged tablets can be a key to embracing these changes in technology and will provide a seamless workflow uninterrupted by challenges faced with consumer grade devices.