Samsung Knox Receives UK Government Approval

The UK government will allow all UK public sector workers to use some Samsung smartphones and tablets for official business after the Samsung Knox mobile management platform was approved by the Communications and Electronic Security Group (CESG).

Official guidance published by the CESG outlines the best practices for running Knox on devices running Android version 4.3 and follows months of “rigorous” testing by the body, which has concluded that the platform is one of the most secure it has ever tested.

Knox’s main selling point is that it can protect devices from the kernel to application level and forms part of an ongoing push into the enterprise mobility market, which the Korean manufacturer believes can offset any saturation in the consumer smartphone market in developed countries.

Public sector approval

It is worth noting however, that approval has only been granted for version 1.0 of Knox, with guidance for the recently launched Knox 2.0 due to be published later this year, and that only Samsung Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy S3, S4 and S5 devices can currently be used. But public sector acceptance is a major boost for the company’s enterprise ambitions.

“Mobile device data security is a major focus for Samsung, and our Knox technology provides a comprehensive solution for businesses and the public sector,” says Graham Long, vice president of Samsung’s UK business team.

“We are pleased that our Knox enabled devices have been cleared for use by the UK Government, and are confident given the period of intensive testing that the robust capabilities of Knox act as a credible security solution for government agencies.

“Our technology is widely used in both the UK public and private sector, and with this approval we are committed to working more closely with government departments and agencies that need to maintain high levels of security and data confidentiality on their mobile devices.”

Knox security

Since its launch in October 2012, Samsung claims to have sold more than 25 million Knox-enabled devices and that the platform has already attracted more than one million users, with more than 210,000 activated each month.

It announced a major update to Knox at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona earlier this year and rolled out the new version to Samsung Galaxy S5 smartphones last week.

New security features include TrustZone-protected certificate management, a Knox key store, real time monitoring for administrators, two-factor authentication for fingerprint and password log-ins, while it also supports dual-billing for personal and business use and is compatible with third party containers.

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Steve McCaskill

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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