Android is secure for business, says Samsung enterprise mobile director

By Danny Palmer
26 Jun 2014 View Comments
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Samsung Knox, the South Korean electronic firm's mobile device management solution, ensures that Android smartphones and tablets are secure enough for enterprise use, a Samsung director has told Computing.

Phil Lander, Samsung director of enterprise mobile, made the comments after being asked about the security of Android-powered devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S5, which have long had a reputation for being vulnerable to hackers and malware.

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Indeed, the United States Department of Homeland Security has previously warned that Android smartphones are 100 times more likely to contract malware than Apple's iPhone.

However, Samsung is embarking on a mission to demonstrate that its devices are secure enough for enterprise use and, speaking to Computing at Samsung Business Discovery Day, Lander argued that the firm's MDM platform ensures Android is suitable for use within the business world.

"Samsung Knox is an important part of the portfolio for us in enterprise. The essence of Samsung Knox is that it has made Android secure for business and our announcement with Google yesterday is an endorsement of that," he said, referring to an announcement made at Google I/O that Samsung Knox technology will be integrated into the next version of Android.

However, Lander explained that the partnership with Google doesn't mean Samsung is going to hand control of Knox to the search giant, but rather it will continue working to make the MDM solution as effective on Samsung devices as possible.

"We will continue to build up our own Samsung Knox solution from the trust zone and the hardware right the way up to the software layers as well."

Lander told Computing that the fact that Samsung products have received certification to be used in secure environments like governments is important to the firm, because it can help demonstrate to potential business users that data on Android devices is fully protected.

"That's an important piece of the puzzle for us... Getting certifications globally helps to chip away at that concern that Android isn't secure," he said.

"We've got the Department of Defense approval in the US, we've got common certification criteria and recently we announced CESG [The UK government's National Technical Authority for Information Assurance] approval in the UK, which is really important for us."

Lander also pointed out that a particular version of Android has also received CESG approval, something Samsung was looking to show potential customers at its business day.

"And we actually have CESG approval for Android 4.2.2 devices in the UK marketplace as well. So we'll use events like today and continue product innovation and development to deliver Samsung Android as a platform for enterprise."

According to Lander, Samsung devices are beginning to see a wider uptake in the UK's enterprise mobility marketplace and in organisations of all sizes.

"We're seeing good success in a number of places in the market now; from manufacturing to public sector through to private sector and large organisations there, we're seeing a lot of success in a range of account sizes," he said, going on to add that the fact organisations now allow employees to choose their own device has boosted Samsung's enterprise position.

"But there's a real change in customer needs; four years ago, people were making only one device selection and that was it for the whole organisation. That's changed now."

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