Instead, Samsung went with mobile device management (MDM)-which, in the case of a vulnerable platform, only makes IT more responsible for adverse results but doesn't address the core security problems. The company implemented encryption, which can protect the files unless a user's identity is stolen, which unfortunately is the purpose of much Android malware. Samsung also installed a VPN, which actually makes a compromised device more dangerous, because VPNs tunnel through the perimeter security of a business, potentially granting even greater access to the attacker. Finally, the company made email connectivity improvements, which also giving an attacker greater access via a compromised phone.
All in all, this showcases that Samsung, a broad-based manufacturing company, doesn't understand IT needs nor the actual vulnerabilities that IT needs to address. For a period last year, Samsung phones were less secure than other Android phones.
One of These Things Is Not Like the Other
Generally, when a company is new to IT, it takes an existing product and patches it to look IT-like. Then, upon learning that that approach sucks, it goes back and creates a product from scratch that's designed specifically to meet its compliance and security needs.
Android, as it is, is too insecure to patch this way. Samsung may eventually realize that Blackberry and even Apple are closer to the mark; both companies control their own platform in order to provide an acceptable business solution. In the end, when you compare BlackBerry to Samsung, you can see that BlackBerry is an enterprise vendor. Samsung, not so much.
Rob Enderle is president and principal analyst of the Enderle Group. Previously, he was the Senior Research Fellow for Forrester Research and the Giga Information Group. Prior to that he worked for IBM and held positions in Internal Audit, Competitive Analysis, Marketing, Finance and Security. Currently, Enderle writes on emerging technology, security and Linux for a variety of publications and appears on national news TV shows that include CNBC, FOX, Bloomberg and NPR.