While there’s a lot to like about the Android platform in principle, there have been a few security exploits that have left some people a bit concerned about letting this smartphone leader into the enterprise environment. But a forthcoming smartphone may address some of those issues.
Just over a month ago, a company called QSAlpha started an Indiegogo crowd-funding campaign for a new secure Android-based phone known as the Quasar IV Cipherphone. While that campaign – which hoped to raise over three million dollars to put the phone into production – limped to the finish line with just under $100,000 in pledged funding, it caught the attention of other players in the industry. So, despite the crowd-funding failure, the phone will reportedly still go into production in 2014.
While the phone’s QuaOS will be partially based on the Android platform, it will be protected by a few security measures not typically seen on other Android phones.
First up is the phone’s link to the company’s own QuaWorks ecosystem. The includes a dedicated app store populated exclusively with apps digitally signed by the developer, which means you won’t accidentally install spoof apps infected with malware. Of course, this almost certainly means there will be a lot fewer apps available through the phone, and that some apps may appear there well after their general release through Google Play. But if that stops you from accidentally installing something that’ll steal all of your contacts and start logging your keystrokes, it’s worth it, right?
There’s also the company’s encryption technology, known as Quatrix, which generates both public and private keys for every user. That means if you’ve deployed a number of these phones across the company, you can be sure that communication (including VoIP calls, texts and emails) between the users on the devices is authentic and secure. And with the verification of keys taking place on hardware on the phone rather than an online server, it prevents security from being compromised by a rogue takeover of an online authentication server.
If you’re intrigued, you’ll still have to wait until the new year for the final product, assuming everything goes smoothly with the new corporate partner interest.