Samsung Knox approved for use across UK government by CESG

Public sector workers can use Android phones providing they are protected by Samsung Knox

The UK government is to start permitting public sector workers to use certain Samsung devices for official business after the Samsung Knox mobile management platform was approved by the Communications and Electronic Security Group (CESG) today.

The Knox platform uses a security-enhanced version of Android and creates an isolated "container" that separates work data and apps from personal data. It is designed to protect Android handsets from data leakages, malware and malicious attacks.

The CESG, a body tasked with providing assistance to government departments on communications security as part of the Cabinet Office End User Devices Program, said it conducted "rigorous" testing on the Samsung Knox platform before concluding that it was secure enough to protect public sector worker's phones.

Graham Long, VP of Samsung's UK enterprise business team, said: "Mobile device data security is a major focus for Samsung, and our Knox technology provides a comprehensive solution for businesses and the public sector.

"We are pleased that our Knox enabled devices have been cleared for use by the UK government, and are confident given the period of intensive testing that the robust capabilities of Knox act as a credible security solution for government agencies.

"Our technology is widely used in both the UK public and private sector, and with this approval we are committed to working more closely with government departments and agencies that need to maintain high levels of security and data confidentiality on their mobile devices."

Samsung devices covered by the CESG's guidance include the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy S3, Galaxy S4 and the company's latest flagship handset, the Samsung Galaxy S5.

However, approval has only been granted for version 1.0 of Knox, with guidance for the recently launched Knox 2.0 due to be published later this year. Some of the new features in 2.0 include a dedicated app store called Marketplace, cloud-based management and certificate management functionality that can turn a smartphone into a smartcard.

Since the launch of Knox in October 2012, Samsung claims to have attracted more than one million users, with more than 210,000 signing up each month.

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