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Why Apple has difficulty in the corporate world

2 April, 2011 (10:10) | linux, mac, OS, security

I’m tired of absolute statements like being accused of hating iEverything. I like an ipad for surfing the web on the couch, ipad for listening to music and supporting clueless users on a mac. They can’t figure out how the hell to fire up vi, how are they going to break it? That is great for home. Super great. At home, mac is cool just like sony or microsoft is if you keep all the same gear working together.

I disagree with the use of Apple tech to solve corporate problems. I work with protected information and use standard tools every corporation should be using. The problem with Macland is that Apple does not support secure computing. Try writing email to their HIPAA support address. So far they have not responded to a single one of our emails in the last 3 years. They don’t exist. Apple has no FIPS-140 support. They do not have a single certified device on the NIST FIPS 140-2 list.

 Apple is like a gold hammer if home computing is a kind of nail. Works pretty well together and looks nice. But the hammer is expensive and has to be replaced pretty quick. When you smack the business screw with the gold hammer, all kinds of crap goes wrong. Eventually when your business puts a heavy load on the screw, everything will fall apart.  I’m looking for the right tools to go in my toolbox. Not the one the popular comedian on TV uses. I’m a professional IT person, not a comedian.

I’d like to start a table to show a comparison of just Dell laptops with Windows, Red Hat vs Apple full OSX and iphoneOs. I’d like to stick to features useful to a medium to large business, not a group of 10 developers. Over time I’ll add links to each item to show a source for data directly on a government site. For the most part this is a cheat sheet for myself but if anyone else finds it useful let me know.

To the apple fanbois who will find this site, if you have helpful comments to keep this accurate, fire away. Just keep in mind that I’m in the big kids playground where Ford vs Chevy doesn’t matter. Individual products that meet government requirements matter. FIPS 140-2, HIPAA, HITECH, FDCC, USGCB are the types of regulatory issues I have. If you don’t have emails coming to your inbox every day with compliance reports… well just keep your flamebait to yourself please. You can’t learn about this stuff overnight. It takes years and a decent size staff. Until you have lived in that world, you don’t shed bias to examine this rationally.

I believe this is accurate as of March 2011.

  Dell Windows Dell Linux Apple Laptop Apple ipad  
Theft recovery          
GPS location available from hardware none yes  
GPS activated by cell yes yes no  no  
Tracking not dependant on OS yes yes no no  
BIOS doesn’t allow turning off GPS tracking yes yes no no  
Geofence autoalarm yes yes no ?  
Central web console to track all corporate users yes yes no no  
Police will pick up your stolen machine yes yes no no  
FIPS140-2 approved components in the OS many many none none  
FIPS140-2 integrated smart card option yes yes no  no   
FIPS140-2 integrated fingerprint reader yes yes no no  
FIPS140-2 disk encryption built into OS yes sortof no no  
FDCC compliance available yes no no no  
USGCB compliance available  yes no no no  
Physical attributes          
Laptop dock available yes yes no no  
multiple monitor support without extra hardware most models most models no no  
More than 8GB ram available yes yes no no  
More than 1 internal hard disk available yes yes no no  
3 SSDs/48GB ram in a laptop yes yes no no  
more than 2 usb ports yes yes no no  
third party batteries and power cords yes yes no no  
Work can be done onsite yes yes no no  
Warranty can be extended to 5 years yes yes no no  
minimum 1 year phone support yes yes no no  
Company sells servers yes yes no no  
Full support with dell kbox yes some some some  
SCAP scanning with kbox yes no no no  
driver and firmware updates automated with kbox yes no no no  





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