Samsung SAFE Should Work With BlackBerry Mobile Fusion

By Cameron Sturdevant  |  Posted 2012-07-25 Print this article Print


However, executives and high-value employees who insist on accessing regulated or highly sensitive data must understand that protecting that data requires putting security barriers in place. And this understanding must be balanced with the IT managers being sensible about creating password complexity rules that a mere mortal will be capable of keying in using a constrained, virtual keyboard. For example, my complex password, which is fine when typing on a physical keyboard, is quite awkward to enter on a virtual keyboard where I had to flip back and forth between virtual keyboard screens in search of all the special characters I required.

Samsung has instituted AES 256-bit encryption for on-device security. My test phone was new, with almost no data or applications onboard. It took about 10 minutes to encrypt the device. Since then I€™ve added several apps, including a media player with several large data files. Phone functions were uninterrupted and performance slowed but was not a major inconvenience when the files were first added to the system.

Mobile Device Management

After data encryption, one of the most important aspects of securing a device for enterprise use is ensuring that the handset can be managed. As listed above, Samsung has enlisted a small fleet of enterprise-worthy MDM application providers. In my tests, I used a hosted version of AirWatch MDM to manage my test phone. It almost goes without saying that AirWatch is an enterprise scale system. I managed only a single device because I was just looking at the Samsung SAFE technologies.

As with any MDM product, it integrates with Microsoft Active Directory or other LDAP services to marry existing user controls to the handset. I was easily able to integrate my test Samsung phone into the AirWatch system and immediately get both monitoring information and direct management control over the device.

In my tests, I was able to set security policies such as password complexity and to create device policies that could report if the security posture of the handset had been changed in a way that violated my security policy. I could also specify which applications were on the whitelist and which were on the blacklist. User accounts were fine-grained and I was able to create restricted administrative accounts. In addition to administrative roles, such as content manager and report viewer, I would like to see AirWatch add administrative limits such as €œexecutive€ or €œsales€ in order to limit administrative access to policies that governed devices used by these types of users.

In this sense, Samsung SAFE devices should be able to also slip into a BlackBerry Mobile Fusion environment with little extra effort. If this happens, the likelihood that more users will opt for a non-BlackBerry device is almost certain to grow, which is why it makes sense for IT managers to evaluate RIM alternatives now.

Cameron Sturdevant Cameron Sturdevant has been with the Labs since 1997, and before that paid his IT management dues at a software publishing firm working with several Fortune 100 companies. Cameron also spent two years with a database development firm, integrating applications with mainframe legacy programs. Cameron's areas of expertise include virtual and physical IT infrastructure, cloud computing, enterprise networking and mobility, with a focus on Android in the enterprise. In addition to reviews, Cameron has covered monolithic enterprise management systems throughout their lifecycles, providing the eWEEK reader with all-important history and context. Cameron takes special care in cultivating his IT manager contacts, to ensure that his reviews and analysis are grounded in real-world concern. Cameron is a regular speaker at Ziff-Davis Enterprise online and face-to-face events. Follow Cameron on Twitter at csturdevant, or reach him by email at

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