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Knox, when hackers knock

It takes hackers just 30 seconds to gain access to a mobile device. In doing so, they not only gain access to the personal details of the user but create a pathway to their company’s most sensitive data.

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Samsung has designed an effective counter measure against this danger, aptly named Knox. As smartphones and tablets become more convenient for business, Knox has become even more important as a business defence mechanism. The fact is, cyber-attacks are on the rise and employee business devices have exposed enterprises to data breaches, malware threats and corporate espionage.

Justin Hume, Director: Integrated Mobility for Samsung South Africa, says, “The world has never been more connected. Therefore, strength of security has never been more critical to businesses. Unauthorised access to the information on a device is now just as damaging as those involving traditional computer systems.”

Since its launch in 2013, Samsung Knox has become an award-winning, trusted and robust mobile security platform, protecting devices at every layer from hardware through software to application. This defence-grade security platform has created a suite of purpose-built, innovative and intuitive business tools designed for the ways people want to work. Knox is even taking the platform beyond mobile to serve as the foundation for all Samsung enterprise solutions and services. It’s designed with multi-platform interoperability to work with existing IT assets and seamlessly between Internet of Things. In addition, Knox is supported by over 120 enterprise mobility management (EMM) providers worldwide and performs with all popular single sign-on (SSO) and virtual private network (VPN) solutions to preserve enterprise legacy IT investments.

A secure device is a reliable device. That’s why the Knox platform is built into Samsung smartphones, tablets, and wearables at the manufacturing stage. So, it’s there the moment the device is unpacked. The Knox platform consists of overlapping defence and security mechanisms that protect against intrusion, malware, ransomware and other malicious threats.

An organisation’s sensitive data is in a state of constant flow, as everyone from the CEO to the most junior employee accesses corporate emails, customer records, and financial information on a range of devices with different operating systems. With Knox you can manage a fleet of devices, with a cloud-based EMM solution, that increases business efficiency and secures corporate data. It can manage any Android, iOS or Windows 10 device, but is most secure on Samsung Galaxy devices integrated with the Knox platform. Moreover, real-time device monitoring allows IT administrators to track the current GPS-based location of all managed devices and message all device owners without needing their phone numbers.

If employees encounter problems while out of the office, they can authorize IT administrators to request direct access to their device for easy troubleshooting. This allows them to quickly help employees get back to work. And if a device is reported lost or stolen, IT can remotely locate it, lock it, reboot it, and wipe its content.

 

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Huge appetite for foldable phones – when prices fall

Samsung, Huawei and Motorola have all shown their cards, but consumers are concerned about durability, size, and enhanced use cases, according to Strategy Analytics

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Foldable devices are a long-awaited disrupter in the smartphone market, exciting leading-edge early adopters keen for a bold new type of device. But the acceptance of foldable devices by mainstream segments will depend on the extent to which the current barriers to adoption are addressed.

Major brands have been throwing their foldable bets into the hat to see what the market wants from a foldable, namely how big the screens should be and how the devices should fold. Samsung and Huawei have both designed devices that unfold from smartphones to tablets, each with their own method of how the devices go about folding. Motorola has recently designed a smartphone that folds in half, and it resembles a flip phone.

Assessing consumer desire for foldable smartphones, a new report from the User Experience Strategies group at Strategy Analytics has found that the perceived value of the foldable form does not outweigh the added cost.

Key report findings include:

  • The idea of having a larger-displayed smartphone in a portable size is perceived as valuable to the vast majority of consumers in the UK and the US. But, willingness to pay extra for a foldable device does not align with the desire to purchase one. Manufacturers must understand that there will be low sell-through until costs come down.
  • But as the acceptance for traditional smartphone display sizes continues to increase, so does the imposed friction of trying to use them one-handed. Unless a foldable phone has a wider folded state, entering text when closed is too cumbersome, forcing users to utilize two hands to enter text, when in the opened state.
  • Use cases need to be adequately demonstrated for consumers to fully understand and appreciate the potential for a foldable phone, though their priorities seemed fixed on promoting ‘two devices in one’ equaling a better video viewing experience. Identification and promotion of meaningful new use cases will be vital to success.

Christopher Dodge, Associate Director, UXIP and report author said: “As multitasking will look to be a core selling point for foldable phones, it is imperative that the execution be simplified and intuitive. Our data suggests there are a lot of uncertainties that come with foldable phone ownership, stemming mainly from concerns with durability and size, in addition to concerns over enhanced use cases.

“But our data also shows that when the consumers are able to use a foldable phone in hand, there is a solid reduction of doubt and concern about the concept. This means that the in-store experience may more important than ever in driving awareness, capabilities, and potential use cases.”

Said Paul Brown, Director, UXIP: “The big question is whether the perceived value will outweigh the added cost; and the initial response from consumers is ‘no.’ The ability for foldable displays to resolve real consumer pain-points is, in our view critical to whether these devices will become a niche segment of the smartphone market or the dominant form-factor of the future. Until costs come down, these devices will not take off.”

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Huawei puts $1-bn into local developer programme

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Huawei Mobile Services (HMS) South Africa has announced the launch of a local Developer Programme called Shining-Star. Huawei announced an investment of $1-billion in support of this programme across global markets, of which South Africa forms part.

‘‘HMS already has more than 570 million global users, including more than 15 million in Africa, with our business covering more than 170 countries,’’ says Likun Zhao, vice president of Huawei Consumer Business Group for Middle East and Africa. “We provide a trusted, device-centric and inter-connected eco-system that improves the user experience, helping them to discover quality content while ensuring security and privacy.”

The developer programme, announced at AfricaCom in Cape Town last week, is the first of its kind in South Africa. Huawei says it “will provide an encompassing eco-system that aims to encourage local developer innovation and support, while Huawei’s AppGallery provides a platform for developers to showcase and publish their apps”.

The platform offers open e-point access and intelligent global distribution for all apps, ranging from smart home, gaming and music to education and health-related apps.

The Shining-Star Programme has been successfully implemented in Malaysia, which has the highest number of Huawei users relative to other smartphone brands in this country. Like Malaysia, South Africa has a considerable number of Huawei users.

Shining-Star will focus on assisting local app developers who face challenges like lack of funding for app eco-systems, testing, and monetisation of their apps. South African developers particularly struggle to market their games and find investors.

“We are committed to working on empowering local app developers by offering them some much-needed infrastructure, guidance, skills and support to grow local talent,” said Zhao. “Our focus is to provide an open platform for developers that they can use to launch and market their apps, as well as give them extensive support in the form of technical development, testing, and legal and marketing tools.”

Huawei HMS Core is a hub with tools like the Account Kit, which enables users to access developers’ apps using Huawei IDs; Game Service, which enables game development; Location Kit, which provides developers with hybrid locations; Drive Kit, a data storage and management solution; and Map Kit, which offers customisation of map formats to developers.

In addition to these developer-specific tools, the Huawei HMS Core hub has growth enablers like the Push Kit and an Analytics Kit, which enable, respectively, the sending of messages and analysis of user behaviour. An Ad Kit and In-App Purchases Kit are also available, so developers can earn income from their apps. Key resources such as API reference, development guides and sample code assist are also part of the programme.

At present, more than 50,000 apps are connected to HMS Core worldwide.

* App developers with a completed app can visit https://developer.huawei.com/consumer/en/, or contact the Huawei SA Business Development team on developersa@huawei.com to find out how Huawei can support them.

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