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Samsung launches Knox security service for Android to rival BlackBerry

25 Feb 2013
Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini smartphone running Android 4.1 slanted view

Samsung has unveiled a new service called Knox to let enterprises create and manage a secure container for corporate applications and data on their Android smartphones.

The handset maker last year introduced Samsung for Enterprise (Safe) on its Galaxy S3 smartphone, adding capabilities such as encryption and VPN support in a bid to make its devices more appealing to the corporate market.

Now, Samsung is extending this with the Knox technology in a move to meet the growing bring your own device trend by creating separate container environments for personal and professional use of devices.

The firm said this should remove many of the headaches facing firms dealing with issues of security and data protection. The Knox service will be available on select devices later this year.

Security management vendor Centrify has partnered with Samsung to provide administrator control for the feature via a company's existing Active Directory infrastructure.

The capability is said to be comparable to the Balance feature on BlackBerry's new Z10 and Q10 smartphones, potentially making Samsung a rival for BlackBerry in the corporate market.

"It involves making their devices more secure and enterprise-ready, providing cleaner separation between work and play, and Samsung definitely sees an opportunity to go after the enterprise mantle that BlackBerry has historically had," Centrify chief executive Tom Kemp told V3.

The technology revolves around creating an isolated container on the device, according to Kemp, which can be managed by the IT department, while the user is free to use the handset outside the container for whatever they wish.

"One of the issues with bring your own device (BYOD) in the enterprise is that there's a big concern about data leakage occurring, and making sure the enterprise stuff stays in the sandbox and doesn't leak out," Kemp said.

"If the employee leaves the organisation, IT want to ensure the information is wiped, but the user doesn't want their personal photos and music deleted as well."

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Daniel Robinson

Daniel Robinson is technology editor at V3, and has been working as a technology journalist for over two decades. Dan has served on a number of publications including PC Direct and enterprise news publication IT Week. Areas of coverage include desktops, laptops, smartphones, enterprise mobility, storage, networks, servers, microprocessors, virtualisation and cloud computing.

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