NSA approves Samsung Knox devices for government use

The certification may help Samsung establish itself as a serious player in secured devices

samsung galaxy s5

The Galaxy S5.

Credit: Samsung

Samsung Electronics' Galaxy devices have been approved by the U.S. National Security Agency under a program for quickly deploying commercially available technologies.

The Commercial Solutions for Classified (CSfC) program only lists devices that have met the agency's security standards and may not necessarily translate into large government orders for the South Korean company.

The products selected under the program of the NSA and Central Security Service include the Galaxy S4 and S5, Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition under the classification of mobile platforms. Also included under the mobile platforms classification is Boeing Black, a smartphone designed for defense and security applications by the aircraft maker.

The listing may, however, serve to boost the standing of Samsung devices based on the Knox platform as an alternative to other products, such BlackBerry's, in enterprise and government markets, where data security is a key factor in purchase decisions.

Samsung said in June it has been seeking security certifications from relevant government bodies across the world for devices using the Samsung Knox platform.

Knox is an Android-based platform that aims to enhance security of the open-source Android. Devices using the platform allow users to switch between a personal space where personal data can be stored and the protected Knox Workspace container.

Five Samsung mobile devices were in June included on the list of products approved for sensitive but unclassified use by the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) of the U.S. Department of Defense. DISA certifies commercial technology for defense use.

The CSfC list supplements the DISA listing to address the full range of U.S. government security objectives, Samsung said in a statement Tuesday. It said it was the only manufacturer with mobile devices on both lists.

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com

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