Enterprise has traditionally been the expertise of BlackBerry, but the rise of bring-your-own device (BYOD) policies in the workplace has encouraged workers to choose Android and iOS devices as their work smartphones and tablets. But this has resulted in security concerns, which can include malware, data theft and the like, especially given how users tend to mix their personal apps and data with their work-related ones.
Samsung launched its SAFE initiative in 2012 to improve its enterprise security profile. Earlier at MWC this year, Samsung also introduced Knox, which provides an easier way for users to manage both their professional and personal accounts.
At the Galaxy S4 launch event, Samsung says its latest flagship smartphone will ship with Knox pre-installed, which should be a good thing for IT departments, professionals and just about anyone who wants to have separate access to their work and personal accounts on their phone. What’s so good about Knox is that the phone essentially stores work and personal data in separate spaces, which include messages, apps and user accounts.
This means you can switch to your personal account at the tap of a button, say, when you leave the office, and you can switch back when you want to access work-related information. What’s great is that your company’s IT department won’t be able to access data from your personal account. And if you’re fond of installing apps that tend to pull data from your smartphone, you can install these on your personal account without worrying that the app will get information from your work data.
As a refresher, Knox has the following key features:
- Platform security, which includes secure boot, security-enhanced Android, ARM TrustZone based integrity measurement architecture.
- Application security, which includes the Knox Container environment. This separates enterprise data from personal information that may be stored in a device. The KNOX container has its own home screen, launcher, applications and widgets. Application security also includes an encrypted file system and on-demand FIPS-certified VPN.
- Mobile device management in partnership with an enterprise-preferred vendor. This means your company can manage the pro-side of Knox with its preferred IT provider.
Again, Knox lets you switch between the business and personal sides of your smartphone at the tap of an on-screen button, which means you don’t have to reboot, refresh or even launch one of these instances in a virtual environment, which can be very slow, time-consuming and resource-hogging.
Knox will not be a Galaxy S4-exclusive, though, but Samsung will initially launch it with the S4, along with its other software features.