Samsung and BlackBerry have announced the first results of a partnership designed to provide secure Android smartphones for enterprise users.
On Tuesday in Cape Town, the two companies announced a partnership that would see BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES12) provide enterprise level security for Samsung’s Knox on Galaxy smartphones.
The deal gives Samsung devices a boost in the enterprise world as far as security of the Android system is concerned.
“The word ‘consumer’ in the consumer electronics world tends to put us into a bracket which perhaps polarises us as a consumer electronics company only,” Paulo Ferreira, director of Enterprise Mobility at Samsung Electronics SA told Fin24.
The company has been under pressure over security and even BlackBerry CEO John Chen dismissed the South Korean manufacturer’s Knox platform.
“While we applaud Google and Samsung for their plans, we don’t think it’s enough for security-minded enterprises. Instead, look to companies that have literally invested three decades into advancing the twin causes of security and productivity. In other words, don’t be dazzled by those who can talk the security talk.
“Instead, look to the company that has proven repeatedly it can walk the walk,” Chen wrote on the official BlackBerry blog in the 2014.
The partnership between Samsung and BlackBerry will see BES12 used to manage Knox in the corporate environment and add significant security improvement to Samsung smartphones.
One feature highlighted is the ability for enterprise IT managers to allow corporate identities to run alongside consumer applications on a single device, reminiscent of BlackBerry Blend which debuted with the BlackBerry 10 operating system.
“With the device being used in the enterprise type of environment, Samsung is most definitely an organisation that’s focused on enterprise and obviously is looking at adding value to our customers in the enterprise as well,” Ferreira said.
For its part, BlackBerry said that security must be native to an application as opposed to an attempt to ring fence critical applications and platforms.
“From a security perspective which is my backyard, we’ve realised from an early stage that security needs to be built into our product,” Nader Henein, responsible for Advanced Security Solutions, at the Advisory Division at BlackBerry told Fin24.
He said that the company’s platform relied on verification for security, rather than trust.
“I meet with government officials, policy makers, banking and finance customers who remind me time and time again that they’re in the business of security, not trust.”