Samsung has caused quite a stir with the Galaxy S8. With its launch, it’s difficult to avoid analysis of every aspect of the device across tech websites, blogs and forums.
Looking beyond the regular scrutiny of screen size, camera and battery life however, it becomes clear that the real talking point is the security that Samsung has built into its latest offering.
Smartphones are now the primary device for accessing digital services. Mobile browsing overtook computer-based sessions for the first time in 2016. Mobile Google searches have surpassed those conducted on PCs and sales of desktops and laptops have fallen for eight consecutive quarters.
So, with more sensitive apps and services ‘going mobile’, it figures that the need for device security is greater than ever.
Great power brings great responsibility
With the mobile age upon us, consumers are demanding quick, convenient and, importantly, secure access to all of their digital services, from whichever device they are carrying in their back pocket.
This is why Samsung has put security front and centre with its KNOX platform, underpinned by Trusted Execution Environment (TEE) technology. “Knox is Samsung’s defense-grade security platform built into our latest mobile devices.” – Samsung.
KNOX allows Samsung to enhance its own device security and deliver secure services. What’s more, since TEE technology used is open, third-party applications can be provisioned after the handset or device has been deployed.
This opens up vast commercial opportunities for both device manufacturers and digital service providers, who have the potential to dynamically add value to the end user by offering new secure services and functionality once the device is already in their hands.
TEE technology offers hardware protection in the form of a secure operating system which is completely isolated from the device operating system.
This makes it, and trusted applications residing in it, immune to all software threats resident on the device and enables advanced device security, such as biometric authentication and secure PIN entry. The Root of Trust also ensures that a trusted identity is preserved within the device, preventing fraudulent use or copying.
Extending trust to apps and services
Because of open TEE technology, service providers and app developers can access hardware-level security on more than one billion devices, including Samsung’s S6, S7 and S8 phones.
This gives them secure storage, enables secure data entry and ensures biometric authentication is robust, among a host of other benefits and features.
It is important, though, that app developers and service providers are able to protect their content across every device, whether Android or iOS. This is where the combination of software protection and hardware security comes into play.
Service providers can now develop with one set of APIs and benefit from the best available security on each device. If there is a TEE, the app gets hardware protection; if no TEE is present then it is now possible to default to the highest level of software protection.
Simplicity and security do not often go hand in hand. By combining hardware and software protection, service providers can now add a piece of code to their app and confidently deploy across all devices, safe in the knowledge it will get the protection it needs.
Sourced by Andy Ramsden, product marketing director at Trustonic