It is confirmed that the Department of Defense(DoD), USA has approved Samsung Galaxy S4 to be used in-house, which makes this device Samsung’s first ever smartphone to get security clearance from the government.
How Security Will Be Ensured
The new policy also includes the Knox security system and allows the government staffs to use this device in-house. Samsung’s chief of Mobile division, JK Shin hopes that the approval will pave the way for other regulated industries and government organs like financial services and health care center’s to allow Samsung smartphones and tablets to be used in their premises too.
However, the process is not as simple as just supplying the DoD employees with the Galaxy devices. The necessity of Knox comes handy here. This security software will allow the users to keep sensitive data separate and secure from the rest of the phone’s contents. By doing this, it is ensured that if any of these devices gets hacked or stolen, evil guys will not be able to steal any sensitive and valuable information from these. This facility will be very useful in securing private apps, account details and documents accessed through the phone. Additionally, the data will be secured for enhanced protection. Knox also allows setting up a VPN on the smartphone.
The Background For The Approval
The approval came after the DoD announced in February that it is working on opening its communication network for Google and Apple’s tablets and smartphones within February 2014. Just a day before Samsung’s announcement, BlackBerry announced that its BlackBerry 10 phones and the PlayBook tablets also got security clearance from the DoD. Though this will be a significant boost for the Canadian smartphone manufacturer, it will face stiff competition from Samsung and Apple in dominating the government offices. A spokesperson of the DoD informed that iPad and iPhones would be approved within this month.
A previous WSJ report indicated that the US govt. is getting ready to swap their long-trusted BlackBerry phones for more flexible and robust options like Apple’s iDevices or Samsung’s Galaxy series. The approval of Samsung devices to be used in DoD premises reveals that the steady growth of the Korean smartphone giant and the Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) trend has had profound impact on the BlackBerry-centric attitude of the US govt.
Smartphone Scenario In The Pentagon
According to a Reuters report, there are more than 600,000 smartphones in Pentagon, which is dominated by BlackBerry with 470,000 devices. The 8,700 Android and 41,000 Apple devices existing in the Pentagon are for pilot or test projects only. The approval came at a time when Samsung is focusing more on its enterprise and business clients. With a global marketing campaign launched last week, the possibility of claiming a sizable portion of BlackBerry’s fleet in the DoD will be an epic triumph for the company.
The highly-anticipated Galaxy S4 was unveiled in March at an attractive media event taking place in New York. This is the follow-up device of Galaxy S3, which reached the mark of 40 million sales in January. The well timed milestone also contributed in the Galaxy S Series’ surpassing of 100 million sales. While Samsung is anticipating more lucky numbers from their flagship devices, the much-awaited access to the US govt. would be a major thrust in the company’s progress.