Samsung, Telefónica Partner on Knox Mobile Security

The carrier will become an authorized reseller of Samsung Knox licenses to public sector and enterprise customers around the globe.

Mobile carrier Telefónica and Samsung Electronics announced a partnership agreement to include Samsung Knox, the company’s mobile security platform, in Telefónica’s portfolio of security services for enterprises.

The carrier will become an authorized reseller of Samsung Knox licenses to public sector and enterprise customers around the globe, a joint release explained.

"This agreement reflects Telefónica’s commitment to provide innovative security solutions to its customers. With Knox, we are now in a position to bring the best mobile security solution for our enterprise, MNC and Public Administration customers who are using Samsung´s devices," Oliver Martínez, director of security and eHealth services at Telefónica, said in a statement.

Knox was introduced in 2013 as an enterprise-ready secure Android platform powering new Samsung Galaxy branded devices in the market.Knox is designed to systematically fortify Android by leveraging the hardware to provide the level of security required by customers.

The platform aims to resolve the two major enterprise mobility concerns for customers–security and manageability – in addition to addressing the ability to seamlessly separate work and play.

"We are delighted to be working with Telefonica to offer secure mobile solutions to public sector and enterprise customers around the world," Rob Orr, vice president of enterprise sales at Samsung Mobile Europe, said in a statement. "We are seeing a requirement in the market to combat security challenges and look forward to working with Telefonica to respond to the increasing convergence between consumer and enterprise technology."

At the Mobile World Congress (MWC) convention in Barcelona, Samsung rolled out an update to Knox, its end-to-end secure mobile platform designed to provide advanced data and privacy protection for enterprise users. Knox 2.0 provides users with enhanced container features such as support for most Android apps from the Google Play store, meaning there is no need to go through the wrapping process for third-party apps.

The platform also supports SE Android policy configurations for third-party containers, such as Good's secure container, Fixmo's SafeZone and MobileIron's AppConnect, so that these third-party containers receive the same level of HW-based protection as the Knox container receives.

The new features of Knox 2.0 will be commercially available in the second quarter, and once available, previous-generation Knox users will be able to upgrade to version 2.0 after upgrading to Android KitKat.

The majority of businesses (79 percent, to be exact) had a mobile security incident in the past year, and the costs are substantial, according to security specialist Check Point Software Technologies' 2013 mobile security report.

The report found mobile security incidents cost 42 percent of businesses six figures, with 16 percent putting the cost at more than $500,000. Large businesses were especially hard hit, as more than half (52 percent) of large businesses reported mobile security incidents have amounted to more than $500,000 in the past year.