Samsung unveils Knox security for Android smartphones

Samsung aims to bolster the adoption of its Android devices within the enterprise by offering a secure version of the operating system that has been developed by the US Department of Defence.

The software known as "Knox" runs a Security Enhanced version of Android, which has been developed by the National Security Agency (NSA).

The Knox software separates business and personal information on smartphones much like the Balance system which BlackBerry has built into its Z10 device.

Devices using Knox will have enterprise-focused tools such as email, browser, contacts, calendars, file sharing, collaboration, CRM and business intelligence applications placed into a secure environment.

Combined with SE Android and file system level encryption, Samsung Knox will protect mobile users from malicious attacks. The firm adds the software is compatible with widely used MDM, VPN and directory services, and will be ideal for business who want to put BYOD policies in place.

Samsung also claims Knox will make life easier for app developers as they will not have to build in specific enterprise features such as FIPS compliant VPN, on-device encryption, Enterprise Single Sign On (SSO), Active Directory and Smart Card-based multi-factor authentication into their apps.

Simon Stanford, vice president of the IM division of Samsung claimed Knox will help businesses to get the right balance between enterprise control and employee satisfaction.

"The growing trend for BYOD has introduced a variety of security issues to the enterprise, but the fact remains that businesses embracing this strategy are enjoying significant advantages over competitors, as well as a the benefits that come with a happy workforce," he said.

Knox is part of the Samsung For Enterprise (SAFE) initiative and will be launched with selected Samsung Galaxy devices in the UK later this year.

Khidr Suleman is the Technical Editor at IT Pro, a role he has fulfilled since March 2012. He is responsible for the reviews section on the site  - so get in touch if you have a product you think might be of interest to the business world. He also covers the hardware and operating systems beats. Prior to joining IT Pro, Khidr worked as a reporter at Incisive Media. He studied law at the University of Reading and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism and Online Writing at PMA Training.