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September 4, 2013

Samsung Teams Up With Lookout to Improve Security on Galaxy Devices

Samsung Galaxy S4

Samsung has penned a deal with mobile security firm Lookout to increase protection for its Galaxy Android-operated handsets.

Samsung will use Lookout software to scan Smartphones and tablets for malware and viruses. The feature will be geared toward business users as part of Lookout’s expansion into business mobile security.

“I’m pleased to announce an exciting partnership with Samsung that will bring Lookout’s security to mobile devices with Samsung KNOX, Samsung’s secure device offering for business,” wrote CEO John Hering in a blog post.

“Samsung KNOX is setting a standard for enterprise security on Android, and we’re thrilled Samsung selected Lookout to take KNOX business security to the next level. Wherever KNOX will be, Lookout will be there, too.”

Lookout image

Lookout image

Samsung KNOX, according to the company website, addresses platform security with a “comprehensive three-pronged strategy to secure the system: Customizable Secure Boot, ARM TrustZone-based Integrity Measurement Architecture (TIMA), and a kernel with built-in Security Enhancements for Android (SE for Android) access controls.”

Android is not only the most widely-used Smartphone operating system, it is also the most targeted by hackers. In fact, 79 percent of all 2012 mobile malware is designed to attack Android handsets due both to its popularity and its open source architecture, according to a government study obtained by Public Intelligence.

A report by Juniper indicated malware infections on Android Smartphones, tablets and other devices account for 92 percent of all attacks, while McAfee Labs researchers, in a recent report, said code designed to circumvent bank ID protection played a roll in elevating the volume of Android malware by 35 percent in the April-to-June quarter.

Analysts are saying the partnership between Samsung and Lookout is a bid to assure companies Android-powered devices are a secure substitute for BlackBerry which is known for its commitment to security, Windows Phone platforms which also offer enterprise security features or Apple’s iPhone.

According to the government study, less than one percent of 2012 malware attacks were aimed at Apple’s iOS software, Microsoft’s Windows and BlackBerry.

Many business people use an Android device for personal use and a BlackBerry or iPhone for work purposes. The Samsung-Lookout partnership means business people will no longer have to do this, Hering said.

“The way that employees work on and use their devices has changed dramatically over the past few years,” Hering said. “The mechanisms by which businesses were protected in the past don’t work in a world where employees use a personal device in business and/or a business device in a personal context.”

“One in three companies now allow employees to bring their own devices to work, and whether or not it’s allowed, employees are doing so and company data is being accessed outside of the corporate network, potentially putting that data at risk,” he said, adding the Lookout-Knox partnership will address these issues.

Samsung has yet to comment on the partnership.