Samsung Gets Approved for Defense Department?

Interesting read from the Wall Street Journal.


Samsung Electronics sa005930.SE -3.29%id five of its Galaxy-branded smartphones and tablets that come with its enterprise security software recently received approval from the U.S. Defense Information Systems Agency, allowing them to be listed as an option for officials.


The five devices are: the Galaxy S4, Galaxy S4 Active, Galaxy Note 3 smartphone, and two tablet models from the company’s popular Galaxy Note lineup. (The list doesn’t include Samsung’s latest Galaxy S5 smartphone)

Knox allows users to have a virtual “container” within their smartphone that come with customized contents and apps for enterprise clients. Samsung claims that documents and files stored within the container are more secure from breach, while users can freely switch back and forth from mobile applications used for work and personal use.

The announcement comes as Samsung continues to seek security certifications from government agencies worldwide for its Knox-installed devices, as a part of its push into the global enterprise market. The company believes that winning certifications from defense ministries will help persuade corporate clients to switch to Samsung phones. The move hasn’t been easy as Samsung tries to address the needs of the world’s most security-conscious network managers.

The five devices have been listed on the DISA’s Approved Products List, which can be used as reference by the U.S. Armed Forces and U.S. government agencies, Samsung said.

The South Korean company said Samsung devices “demonstrated compliance with over one hundred unique requirements, ranging from encryption to intrusion detection to key exchange to support for secure networking standards.”

But Samsung is far from winning this game.

The so-called Approved Products List provided by DISA has a rather long list of products that the agency has given approval to, apart from Samsung’s five devices. The list includes several iPhone and iPad models from Apple that run on the company’s latest iOS 7 platform, while it also lists several BlackBerry devices among a number of other products from various vendors.

While these types of certifications do take Samsung a step closer to supplying government agencies,  they don’t necessarily mean contracts that can generate profits.

In May, a Samsung executive said that there are 87 million devices that come with Knox installed. But among them, just 1.8 million are actively using Knox. Samsung’s senior vice president Rhee In-jong, who spearheads the development Knox, explained that the number of clients is rising and the focus will be initially on having a wider distribution.


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