Cisco integration gives Samsung Knox users more options for secure connectivity

Under pressure from falling phone sales, Samsung continues to court CIOs

Samsung Electronics smartphones and tablets protected using the company's Knox security technology have been integrated with VPNs from Cisco Systems, giving enterprises more options for communicating securely.

Integration with Cisco's VPN platform is important because most enterprises use Cisco gear, according to Leif-Olof Wallin, research vice president at Gartner. Samsung's Knox platform is used to protect applications and data on the smartphone or tablet and Cisco's AnyConnect for Samsung Knox is used to secure the communication.

These kinds of collaborations are about making it easier to reuse existing equipment for new functions. In this case, enterprises don't want to invest in new VPN gateways, so its up to Samsung to provide the widest possible support for different software and hardware.

The integration also means AnyConnect becomes safer because the platform gains a secure way to store the keys and certificates necessary to protect the communication with Knox, Wallin said.

Knox can also use VPN connectivity from F5 Networks and Juniper Networks.

The end of last year saw Samsung step up its enterprise push. Slowing smartphone sales have made the enterprise market more important for Samsung and its competitors.

In November, the company announced a partnership with BlackBerry to integrate BES (BlackBerry Enterprise Server) 12 with Galaxy smartphones and tablets. With this collaboration, Knox users will get yet another way to communicate securely.

The free AnyConnect for Samsung Knox app can be downloaded from Google's Play store. Cisco also offers the AnyConnect ICS+ app, which works with smartphones and tablets that use Android 4.0 or later versions of Google's OS. Recently, Cisco added support for Android 5.0 (Lollipop) as well.

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