BlackBerry enterprise chief questions Samsung Knox security

blackberry q10

The new head of BlackBerry's enterprise services division has used his first dispatch in his new role to call the security of Samsung's business offerings into question.

John Sims, president of global enterprise solutions at BlackBerry, joined the firm from SAP in December, and has wasted no time getting stuck into the ailing smartphone maker's competition.

In a blog post published earlier today, Sims took aim at smartphone rival Samsung and the enterprise-readiness of its Knox security software.

These are the reasons why BlackBerry has earned the trust of more than 80,000 enterprise and government customers worldwide four times more than the pure play' MDM vendors combined.

Like BlackBerry Balance, the Knox software is designed to help users keep their personal and business data separate on their chosen Samsung device.

However, Sims claims the recent emergence of a vulnerability that could let hackers intercept data stored on a Knox-enabled Samsung Galaxy S4 could be a sign the software is not ready to be let loose in the enterprise.

"With Samsung still battle testing its enterprise platform and fixing security bugs, industries that require the most stringent security needs can trust that there's nothing more secure than a BlackBerry device managed by a BlackBerry Enterprise Server," Sims wrote.

He then took aim at the time it's taken Samsung to get Knox into full production, and hinted this may be a sign it's finding enterprise-grade security a difficult area to get its head around.

"Blue Hill Research reminds us that Samsung announced Knox at Mobile World Congress in February 2013, and nearly a year later customers are still waiting to go into full production," Sims wrote.

"Frankly, this is because security is hard and it is not possible to condense thousands of person years of learning into 12 short months."

Sims also claimed Knox could make it difficult for some firms to adopt the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend, because it only works on select Samsung devices.

"For those highly regulated customers those that require the strictest security levels Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is not an option," he explained.

"However, there are a significant number of enterprises where BYOD is the way forward. Knox has no flexibility for the BYOD trend."

He then goes on to talk up BlackBerry's security strengths, before assuring customers this won't changed, despite the recent goings on at the firm.

"These are the reasons why BlackBerry has earned the trust of more than 80,000 enterprise and government customers worldwide four times more than the pure play' MDM vendors combined," he wrote.

"That means we're still the industry leader in mobility management. With the recent changes in our leadership team and our strong commitment to our customer base in the regulated industries, we aim to continue to be the leader."

IT Pro contacted Samsung for comment, but was still awaiting a response at the time of publication.

Caroline Donnelly is the news and analysis editor of IT Pro and its sister site Cloud Pro, and covers general news, as well as the storage, security, public sector, cloud and Microsoft beats. Caroline has been a member of the IT Pro/Cloud Pro team since March 2012, and has previously worked as a reporter at several B2B publications, including UK channel magazine CRN, and as features writer for local weekly newspaper, The Slough and Windsor Observer. She studied Medical Biochemistry at the University of Leicester and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism at PMA Training in 2006.