Launched last year at Mobile World Congress, Samsung’s security platform Knox is about to see a second evolution which will bring significantly important new use cases and potentially serve a lot more users in the small business (SMB) space. To mark the importance of Knox in Samsung’s overall strategy, Mr. J.K Shin himself (CEO of Samsung Mobile and IT) presided the event and introduced a high-level view of the current state of affairs and where the platform was going.
Knox 2.0 will be even more hardened at the core level, with features like real-time monitoring of the kernel code and system partition in order to prevent hacking and modifications which aims the first links of the security chain. Core security is (and should be) mostly invisible to users, and some of the changes are much more noticeable and impactful on a day to day basis. Jeff Moles (Senior Director, Knox Product Management) was presenting an overview of the changes between Knox 1.0 and 2.0.
For example, Knox 2.0 can use a combination of password and biometric information (fingerprint) as a two-factor authentication system. In theory, this would make the odds of unauthorized entry much lower because it’s difficult to crack both within a useful time frame (short of forcing the user to unlock the phone, of course).
Presented by the Knox leader Injong rhee (SVP of Knox Business) Samsung has also launched a new cloud-based management system that allows small businesses (and just about anyone) to manage security and application provisioning for employees and contractors. The live demo was pretty convincing and in less than one minute, the administrator was able to provision a Box.com account to an employee. Supposedly, other apps would be just as simple to manage. At the moment, this works only with Web apps, so you may not have all the performance and responsiveness of native apps, but the management is extremely easy.
Finally, the last point that caught my attention is the fact that mobile traffic billing can now be separated between Work and Personal profiles. This is great for employers because they only pay for “work-related” traffic, and employees can use their own data allowance without having to worry about their employers feedback. In many ways, split traffic is a critical element to support a healthy BOYD expansion.
There are many more aspects of Knox 2.0, but I think that these are the most worthy of attention by small business owners and individuals who don’t have an IT supporting staff to help them. It is possible that large companies may also adopt the cloud services for the sake of simplification, but prior to Knox 2.0, SMBs did not have many options (if any) to get a security service like this.