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Samsung launches KNOX with full containerization for the BYOD user

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Samsung has taken its next step in becoming the go-to enterprise and BYOD (bring your own device) brand for Android. The company has added KNOX to its SAFE (Samsung For Enterprise) brand, enabling the first “containerization” of the Android platform.

Like BlackBerry Balance, this allows IT administrators to syphon off data into a separate part of the phone complete with enhanced APIs, a secure kernel, simultaneous VPN connections, and on-device encryption for absolute protection against external threats and malware. KNOX is the first NSA-approved implementation of Security Enhanced Android, which uses a custom Linux kernel to ensure OS integrity at the lowest possible levels.

All user data, including data from apps downloaded via Samsung’s Enterprise App Store, will be completely inaccessible outside of the container. If a device gets stolen or goes missing, IT administrators can initiate a secure wipe of the container’s data without compromising the integrity of the user’s personal information, just in case he or she should recover the device.

Not only does KNOX support Active Directory management, full Exchange Activesync profiles and all of the popular MDMs, it is preloaded with nearly 400 IT policies from leading vendors.

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The whole idea behind KNOX, which furthers SAFE’s initial promise, is “one device for work and play,” something Samsung says hasn’t been possible on the Android platform until now. Companies with existing enterprise backends powered by Citrix, MobileIron, Airwatch, SOTI and others can be fully integrated into KNOX, removing the need for a middleman NOC.

No word on launch dates or pricing, but we’d expect it to be rolled out in the next few months.

MISSISSAUGA, ON – February 25, 2013 Samsung Canada, the leading supplier of mobile phones in the Canadian marketplace, today announced Samsung KNOX, an innovative, comprehensive enterprise mobile solution to further strengthen their position in the B2B market. Providing a unique and differentiated solution that allows consumers to use one device for both work and play, KNOX addresses the growing trend of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) in the Canadian enterprises.

Debuting at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Spain, KNOX aligns with the on-going Samsung for Enterprise (SAFE) solution as part of an ongoing effort initiated by Samsung to promote the readiness of its devices for enterprise use. By incorporating Security Enhanced (SE) Android and integrity management services that is implemented in both hardware and the Android framework, KNOX offers a container solution that separates business and personal use of a mobile device.  This separation is enforced by SE Android and file system level encryption, which offers protection of business data and applications from data leakage, viruses and malware attacks.  Lightweight and compatible with existing common enterprise infrastructure such as MDM, VPN and directory services, KNOX provides reassurance and convenience for IT departments looking to implement and manage BYOD strategies.

Easily accessible via an icon on the home screen, the KNOX container presents a variety of enterprise applications in a secure environment including email, browser, contacts, calendars, file sharing, collaboration, CRM and business intelligence applications. KNOX enables existing Android eco-system applications to automatically gain enterprise integration and validated, robust security with zero change to the application source code. KNOX relieves application developers from the burden of developing individual enterprise features such as VPN, on-device encryption, Enterprise Single Sign On (SSO), Active Directory support and Smart Card based multi-factor authentication.

“We are thrilled to announce Samsung KNOX as an additional layer of reassurance and convenience for Canadian IT departments who are looking to implement and manage Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) strategies within their enterprises,” said Paul Brannen, Vice President, Enterprise Business Solutions at Samsung Canada. “Security and privacy are understandably held up as barriers to businesses embracing BYOD demands. The KNOX solution allows employees to combine business and personal in a single device, without compromising the security that IT departments are looking for.”

KNOX will be commercially available in selected Samsung GALAXY devices from Q2 2013 onwards and for more information on the SAFE program, please visit: www.samsung.ca/safe

  • zzZZzz

    I wonder if more OEMs will bring this type of feature. Not that I need it now, but it will attract even more market share.

    • Yipu

      RIP BB Balance.

    • Mexico Ron

      SAFE Samsung is a bit like CLEAN hooker. Good luck with that.

      I thought we all loved Android because it’s openness and insecurity made it so flexible.

    • Anonymous

      RIP BB Balance indeed. One of BB’s biggest selling points to Enterprises/BYOD was Balance. Now the superior operating system has the same functionality.

    • Tom

      “thought we all loved Android because it’s openness and insecurity made it so flexible.” ??

      Openness typically contributes to security, e.g. having a kernel that has a million eyes (every university in the world, for starters) poring over it certainly helps flag issues.

  • Joey

    I’m not sure what’s less inspiring.. More junk software from Samsung, or the continual use of cheap plastic for the hardware.

  • Steven Rodriguez

    All Samsung has done here is copy BlackBerry Balance, and poorly at that. At least BlackBerry Balance helps you protect BB, iOS and Android.

    • schultzter

      Copied who!? Blackberry did not invent the “secure container.” I don’t know who did, but McAfee Secure Container for Android and iOS has been around for at least a year now. It’s a piece of carp and I don’t know if Balance or Knox will be any better.

      The thing I like best about having work and personal on my smartphone is I see the integrated view, especially for the calendar. But I like pressing one phone button and looking up contacts in one place. Email is split but that’s how I want it since personally I use Gmail anyways.

      If the calendar widget can’t pull events out of Knox’s calendar and my Google Calendar then it’s a fail! If I have to have a personal dialler and a Knox dialler than it’s a fail.

      I’m sure IT departments will love it. But everyone else will hate it and find workarounds, and security will be out the window.

    • pacalis

      Ha, and apparently they copied 400 IT policies.

      How DARE they make things more secure and easier for IT administrators.

    • RealDeal

      @schultzter
      McAfee Secure Container was originally launched with EMM 10.1 less than a year ago. Blackberry Balance has been out for almost two years. I am pretty sure BB was the first to do it in the mobile space. They did it a full year before McAfee anyways.

  • a little bit of RIP BB

    This just add a little bit of RIP to Blackberry.

    Market share for January 2013 in the US:
    Android 49.4%
    iOS 46.0%
    Windows 3.0%
    BlackBerry 0.9%

    • Beyonce

      You seem to be forgetting that BB has already claimed 60% of the market in United Arab Emirates.

  • Bill Murray

    Samsungs just killing it!

  • Trolling 101

    Its almost as bad as the Z10 trying to run Jelly Bean Android apps, sorry Gingerbread only.

    • Mexico Ron

      Unfortunately, most Android devices are Gingerbread only too…what’s your point?

    • Live in the now

      Really so if I buy an Android tomorrow rather than the newly designed and refreshed Z10 with top end hardware, (laughable at best) it will run Gingerbread? Because your brand new Z10 only runs Gingerbread apps in 2013, lol, that is the point.

  • Haxor99

    Whether you like it or not, smart move by Samsung here

  • Johnz

    @beyonce: who gives an f about the UAE? Like really.

  • locustal

    Meanwhile at Apple….

    IPhone 5s.

    Lol!

  • Sweet

    Ha ! You guys are i****s. There is nowhere near enough info in this article to compare it decently with BB Balance. All you have is a list of features and a very general architecture diagram. There’s nothing to indicate that those features have been implemented well.

    Secondly, the vast majority of security flaws in software is in the implementation (read: coding) not in the design.

    All you should take away from this announcement is that Samsung is getting serious about device security, they copied some features from BB, and they (Samsung) are making a run for the enterprise market. Everything else will have to wait for more info and hands-on review.

    • KL

      @Sweet

      It’s a tech blog mostly filled with pimply faced boys and i****s who has nothing better to do than sit behind a computer in their parents basement.

      What do you expect?

  • Darren

    Sweet: Thanks for a much-needed break from the morons, and for your common sense.

  • Fruit

    these phones will cost even more money now

  • Fruit

    IT took BB to master collaboration in the enterprise market, you actually think that samsung has a product that will kill it over night? Go back under the rock you crawled out under from.

  • pacalis

    Fruit, what rock do you live under that you haven’t noticed that Samsung has already killed it.

  • joe public

    Is this keylime pie?

  • ITPro

    You can put a padlock on a house of cards, doesn’t mean it’s any more secure. Be sure you know what your getting into before deploying hype in your organization.

  • Ben

    Nokia had profiles (work/personal) on the E71 >3 years ago. Motorola had them on the Pro+ a year ago as well. It’s a great idea that everyone is still trying to perfect.

  • Telusdoesnotcare

    Nobody cares about this. This is a desperate attempt by Samsung to get more corporations to care about Android.

    Windows Phone is making huge progress among corporations. Coca Cola just announced they’re dumping Blackberries for Windows Phone, as is Mall of America.

  • Canadian

    Unfortunately Samsung devices on Android still have security vulnerability. BB10 is the most advanced and the most secure mobile OS to date.

  • DJH

    I truly wish people would STOP going on about BB10, have you actually played around with the device?

    It f*****g sucks.

  • jb

    this is junk compared to QNX …..not even close.

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