Called Knox, the suite goes after BlackBerry with the ability to separate corporate and personal data, but only on select Galaxy devices

Samsung goes after enterprise with enhanced MDM

Samsung Electronics is trying to capitalize on its position as the biggest selling Android cellphone company by announcing a beefed-up mobile device management solution for enterprises.

Called Knox—which conjures up the image of the U.S. gold reserve at Fort Knox — Samsung says it offers users the ability to separate corporate and personal data on its handsets, just as the BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 and BlackBerry Enterprise Server 5.0 do, to assure organizations that Samsung devices are ready for enterprise use.

Samsung said it does it by incorporating the Security Enhanced (SE) Android and integrity management services that is implemented in both hardware on the unsecure Android framework to create a container solution that separates business and personal use of a mobile device.

This separation is enforced by SE Android and file system level encryption, Samsung says, which offers protection of business data and applications from data leakage, viruses and malware attacks. “Compatible with existing common enterprise infrastructure such as MDM, VPN and directory services, Knox provides reassurance and convenience for IT departments looking to implement and manage BYOD strategies,” says Samsung.

“Security and privacy are understandably held up as barriers to businesses embracing BYOD demands,” Paul Brannen, Samsung Canada’s vice-president of enterprise business solutions said a news release. “The Knox solution allows employees to combine business and personal in a single device, without compromising the security that IT departments are looking for.”

Knox will be available in selected Samsung Galaxy handsets and tablets during the second quarter of the year.

Knox is a series of enhancements to Samsung’s SAFE solution which covers the Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note handsets.

Linking to third-party mobile device management suites, SAFE offers connectivity to Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync features to link to corporate email and calendars, on-device AES 256-bit encryption and VPN connectivity through service providers.

Knox “could be an important differentiator over most of Samsung’s Android device rivals, for which bring-your-own-device and other enterprise mobility initiatives largely take a back seat,” wrote Ovum analyst Tony Cripps in a blog from the Mobile Congress in Barcelona today, where Knox was announced

“The announcement also positions Samsung to exploit any softening in demand among enterprises and “prosumers” for BlackBerry devices,” he added, “which have long provided the benchmark for enterprise smart devices. Samsung can also take advantage of any reluctance by businesses to deploy applications and data on Apple iOS devices.

Mississauga, Ont.,-based SOTI Inc. which makes a mobile device management called MobiControl, announced Knox support. The company said MobiControl will allow IT administrators to manage their data within Knox containers through a management console, allowing anti-virus configuration, Web filtering, control over email policies and document management.

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