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Samsung KNOX’s New Features Bring Benefits to Large Enterprise and SMB Users

By Lionell Go Macahilig - on 28 Feb 2014, 4:15pm

Samsung KNOX’s New Features Bring Benefits to Large Enterprise and SMB Users

Image source: Samsung

Comprehending the BYOD (bring-your-own-device) trend around the world and the security risks it may bring to companies, Samsung has introduced the KNOX software to its devices. Previously mentioned at the Samsung Forum 2013, KNOX enables a Samsung smartphone to have “two distinct personalities.” When installed, KNOX creates a partition that separates two ecosystems: personal and business. KNOX installs an icon on the device that allows the user to switch between the two environments easily.

Since October 2013 when the software became commercially available, Samsung has sold over 25 million KNOX-enabled devices and has over 1 million active KNOX users today. Samsung claims that 210,000 KNOX-enabled devices are being activated every month or equivalent to 7,000 devices per day.

Samsung’s latest version of KNOX includes new features that improve the security of the devices that harnessing it. These are:

TrustZone-Protected Certificate Management – Device-wide feature that generates and maintains secure storage for client certificates. This feature allows mobile devices to play the role of the smart card as well.

KNOX Key Store – Generates and maintains encryption keys inside the TrustZone protected environment. It allows third parties to utilize encryption for security sensitive applications and makes sure that encrypted data is protected if the system is compromised.

Real-Time Protection for System Integrity – Real-time monitoring that both detects and prevents any unauthorized modifications to the kernel code, critical kernel data, and system partition.

TrustZone-Protected ODE – Encrypts the data stored in the device through the TrustZone-protected encryption key, which can be disabled at the detection of system integrity compromise.

Two-factor Biometric Authentication – This feature makes container access even more secure by requiring both password and fingerprint verification.

Microsoft Workplace Join Application – Allows users to gain access to specific network resources through the “MS Workplace Join” application. With this feature, users can access their company email account, internal applications and files, and network server and. IT Administrators can manage devices through the deployed company policy.

Enhanced Generic Framework of KNOX - Supports Per-App VPN functions for SSL VPN solutions such as Juniper, F5, and Cisco while previously supporting them only for IPsec VPN.

Split-Billing – Works with carriers to separately calculate the bills for personal-use apps and professional-use apps and in turn bills the company for all enterprise or professional app use.

Some of the new features on KNOX are brought about by Samsung’s partnership with Microsoft and third-party containers containers like Good, Fixmo (SafeZone), and MobileIron (AppConnect). The new split-billing feature became possible through partnerships with carriers like 3 Hong Kong.

Apart from large enterprises, small and medium businesses can also gain benefits from Samsung KNOX. New KNOX features that will benefit SMBs include:

EMM – Provides cloud-based Mobile Device Management and Identity and Access Management (SSO + Directory service) with a rich set of over 326 IT policies to implement company guidelines. It also supports single sign-on for web-based and mobile apps and cloud directory service to manage credential information.

Marketplace – A one-stop shop for SMBs to find, buy, and use KNOX and enterprise cloud apps in a unified environment. The app store includes a comprehensive catalogue of business applications including KNOX and 140+ cloud apps. Moreover, the store offers customizable bundling for customers to buy multiple apps in a custom bundle and consolidated billing to allow customers to combine multiple products into a single invoice.

Samsung KNOX is currently supported on the Galaxy S4, Galaxy Round, Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy Note II, Galaxy S4 Mini, Galaxy Mega 6.3, and the Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition. The newly-launched Galaxy S5 will feature Samsung KNOX as well.