Samsung says Android more secure today than 6 years ago, but Knox makes it even better
A big part of Samsung's mobile division is security and privacy. Samsung's solution for this since 2013 has been Knox -- an enterprise mobile security solution that comes pre-installed in most Samsung devices. Knox is the only security solution from a smartphone manufacturer that tries to protect a device from the ground up i.e from the hardware root level to the top application layer.
"We assemble all of the components in our factory, which gives us more control on what goes into a product. So we can infuse our security solution (encryption keys) right into the hardware during manufacturing," Nick Dawson, Samsung Director B2B Product Management Group, Mobile Communications Business, told India Today Tech.
Dawson added that Android has come a long way over the past few years and has become a lot more secure. Building on the current architecture of Android Enterprise, Samsung's Knox solution is more holistic in its approach when it comes to offering a secure and private device.
Samsung's Knox solution works on a multilayered approach by protecting the application layer, software layer and hardware layer. So security wise, the company is able to fortify a device on the surface application front all the way down to the hardware root level.
"We have invested significantly in ensuring we can offer the best security for our products," Dawson added. He said that the most common attach vector today is via links sent as text messages or phishing attacks. Knox is able to mitigate the risk of phishing attacks by making sure an attacker cannot gain access to sensitive information.
Protecting devices on a kernel level
Knox is able to protect its device from a kernel level so that root access is denied to an attacker during a startup process. Sensitive data is kept encrypted even after the device is powered on. Samsung also claims to be the only company in the world to offer kernel protection during runtime and not just while powering the device.
But for Samsung, Knox is not just about protecting the device but also about protecting the connected network. As 5G grows bigger and bigger, so will the amount of connected devices within a network. While Samsung ensures that its device is secured from a kernel level, there is always an imminent threat from third-party connected devices.
"All it takes is one injection of false data that can cause a cascading effect that could crumble the entire network of connected devices." This is why Samsung is incorporating Knox in every single device they make right from 5G devices to 5G networks like Access Point/ Base Station and IoT end points.
"Our devices are inoculated and protected from other third-party devices connected to our products within a network. We have been focusing on protecting the devices we make as well as incorporating our Knox solutions on a network level."
Samsung working with governments on security
Samsung is also collaborating with governments globally to offer its Knox solution to address security concerns they may have. India is an incredibly important market for Samsung. The company has launched many new devices to the country first before taking them to other markets and it has also expressed its readiness to work with telecom operators on 5G network. Samsung could also be providing its Knox solutions to the Indian government, but Dawson did not go into specific details when asked about that.
The executive did add, however, that Samsung's India research and development centres play an important role in developing features for Knox. The company is looking to embed its Knox solution into its entire portfolio of connected devices and on a network level as well.
Disclaimer: The reporter's travel and stay have been arranged by Samsung.