Google Android enterprise security suite coming as Samsung drops Knox

Samsung KnoxA lot of eyebrows went up at Google I/O 2014 when Google announced that Samsung had turned over its Knox enterprise security suite in a bid to help improve the overall security of Android. It turns out that the move may have been an early sign that the company was getting out of the mobile security space. Forbes today reported that Samsung is done with Knox and will leave it to Google to build a more robust Android enterprise security solution.

The report adds that Google may use the Knox brand but that it is developing its own solution. It will likely leverage features from its recent acquisition of enterprise device management firm Divide. It’s likely that it will end up using parts of Knox if only to accelerate development as it appears that the effort is still in the early stages of development at this point:

It’s new. It’s not yet field-tested. Further, the initial specs of Google Android L specifications appear very anemic. In the release I’m expecting this fall, there appears to be no on demand VPN capability –and no per app VPN. To me, that means the “secure” container will hold apps and data safe and separate at rest, but not while in transit where consumer and biz apps will flow across the same secure connection into the enterprise.

Essentially, it would appear that even if Google can isolate corporate apps and data on an Android device, they will not be completely secure as they will need to use the same transport mechanisms as regular apps, leaving them more vulnerable during transit (for example while requesting or sending data over to a corporate network).

Google is facing stiff competition in the enterprise space. BlackBerry is refocusing its efforts on the sector that led to its early success and even Apple is pushing into the space with its iOS devices. It will need to move quickly to address issues such as fragmentation to convince the enterprise space that Android can compete against other solutions.

Update (7/14/2014): Samsung has denied this report. We have published a statement sent to us by Samsung in a follow-up story.

Source : Forbes