Secusmart, a BlackBerry subsidiary, today announced the next generation of its SecuSUITE solution, a mobile security solution for voice and data encryption for Samsung smartphones and tablets.
The SecuSUITE for Samsung Knox provides the user with all the functions for secure mobile work and secure mobile phone calls. In addition, the personal use of apps is possible while respecting the high security requirements of the German federal authorities.
Organizations looking for smartphones offering government-grade security will be able to buy the Samsung Galaxy S7, and soon, the Galaxy S8.
Secusmart’s new SecuSUITE for Samsung Knox integrates seamlessly into the existing SecuSUITE for BlackBerry 10 and SecuTABLET infrastructure. In addition to encrypting communications and data stored on the device, the new SecuSuite also secures voice calls using the SNS standard set by Germany’s Federal Office for Information Security (BSI).
Organizational app traffic is passed through an IPsec VPN, while data from personal apps can go straight to the internet. Encrypted voice calls go through a different gateway, not the VPN.
At CeBIT in Hanover, Dr. Christoph Erdmann, CEO of Secusmart said,
“Since the launch of the SecuSUITE for BlackBerry 10, we have made a significant contribution to ensuring mobile communication with the smartphone and enabling our customers to work with current devices on current devices in the authorities. Especially in the election year, secure telephony is at the forefront”
The close partnership between Secusmart and Samsung guarantees a high degree of security while at the same time simplest usability on always current devices.
Users of SecuSuite for Samsung Knox will see the icons of applications managed by their employer tagged with a small padlock. When these applications are launched, they will ask for a PIN to authorize use of the encryption keys in the microSD card. Without these, neither the app nor its associated data can be accessed.
Other applications, including popular messaging platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and WhatsApp, can be installed in accordance with the employer’s security policies: Some organizations, like the German government, will allow only limited whitelists, while others may allow full access to the Google Play Store.
Even if a user inadvertently downloads and installs one of the malicious apps that occasionally sneaks into the Google Play Store, data in the work-related apps is still securely protected.
“Every good OS has to have a way to stop processes reading other processes’ memory,” he said, adding that the Android OS is one of the ones that does.
“On a non-manipulated OS, one app trying to read from the memory of another app would simply crash the OS. It’s a segmentation violation,”
Ensuring that the OS in the phone has not been manipulated is the key. In the case of SecuSuite for Samsung Knox, certification authorities can examine the source code to ensure that Android’s memory protections have not been bypassed, and rely on Samsung’s secure boot system to be sure the signed OS image that is loaded is the same one they examined.
“This is why secure boot is important, to ensure that the system has not been manipulated,” Erdmann said.
There is now the possibility that the German Chancellor’s BlackBerry replacement could also be a BlackBerry.
“There’s great potential” for running SecuSuite on non-Knox Android phones, Erdmann said, but it won’t happen right away.
“Getting these solutions to the security level that the BSI and top-secret government agencies require is very time-consuming,”
“When we started on the Samsung solution, there was no BlackBerry Android, but with the BlackBerry Androids getting up to speed it’s a natural evolution.”
The announcement of the new SecuSUITE takes place at a time when BlackBerry is driving the enterprise of things to an increasing extent. This also includes the support of government authorities in securing their mobile voice and data communications.
Secusmart has been providing the German federal authorities with mobile security solutions for several years, including the SecuSUITE for BlackBerry 10 known as “Chancellor’s Cell Phone” and, more recently, the SecuTABLET.
Sascha Lekic, Director of B2B at Samsung Electronics GmbH said,
“One of the key concerns in the C-suite is data security on mobile devices from companies and government agencies, which is why Samsung has developed the powerful and multi-certified Knox for Android security solution, which provides comprehensive security within an intuitive application”
“With SecuSUITE for Samsung Knox, security on mobile devices is being raised to a whole new level.”
When it goes on sale around July, an S7 running SecuSuite for Samsung Knox will cost around €1900 (£1650) and includes the phone, a microSD smartcard to secure the encryption keys, and the first year of service.
The secure language on the Samsung Galaxy Smarthphones is compatible with the existing BlackBerry 10 solution and will also be available on the SecuTABLET.