November 7, 2018

IoT. 5G. AI. Disruption is happening now. Are you ready?

Nick Dawson

Currently emerging and evolving technology trends are about to massively disrupt entire industries. These trends are evolving independently, but they all converge perfectly in the mobile space. Samsung is applying the lessons learned from the first of wave of mobility to this next wave. Samsung Knox is a cornerstone of our strategy to future-proof our customers and partners by ensuring that your devices and services are secure and managed according to your very specific requirements.


The Next Mobile Economy

Technological advances always have a disruptive effect on existing business methods. In recent years one need not look much further than some of the leading brands of today to see just how true this is: Amazon, Uber, Spotify, Airbnb – all are businesses that have successfully and rapidly supplanted former incumbent leaders in their marketplaces. They have done so in large part by astutely leveraging new technologies. And that’s just a very short list; there are many, many others that we could name here (and we mean no disrespect to the ones that we didn’t).

Whatever industry you’re in, there is a competitor out there trying to do the same to you. Your business is about to be disrupted. It may already have been, whether you realize it or not. You may even think that you’re the disruptor, but could belatedly discover that you in turn are being disrupted.

The pace of change in the technology world can be breathtaking. In the past, we would most commonly see one or two technology trends evolving at a time. Some may not have always reached their full promise, but there has been a relentless push forward. We all know that this pace of change has been increasing, but we’re also seeing the emergence of more trends and shifts simultaneously.

Today in the industry we speak a lot about the Fourth Industrial Revolution, or Industry 4.0. At Samsung, we have coined the phrase The Next Mobile Economy to describe how certain key trends are impacting businesses, and have offered up some thoughts about how to prepare for these so as to be the disruptor and not the disrupted.

IoT: The Internet of Things is certainly not a new idea. The idea of hyper-connected network devices fulfilling myriad purposes has been evolving for several years now. Many people rightly ask, where are all these devices? Well, truthfully many of them surround us unnoticed already: sensors in vehicles, buildings, and fields; connected home appliances; even our smartphones and watches are IoT devices. But the massive IoT explosion has been waiting for 5G.

5G: Next-generation 5G networks will bring about significant increases in speed and bandwidth. These are probably the attributes that excite most people. But 5G networks will also deliver near-zero latency, meaning an elimination of all but the imperceptible delays across the network. This is critical for the propagation of IoT devices at scale.

AI: Billions of devices consistently connected to one another, constantly generating information – much of which will need to be acted upon in real time – will exceed our capability to act effectively on the information being provided to us. AI is the solution to this.

Add in augmented reality scenarios as well as continued evolution of cloud and big data services, and you end up with multiple technology trends evolving simultaneously. Each of these trends will develop along their own distinct path but they all converge perfectly in the mobile space.

  • IoT devices are simply the next generation of mobile devices: connected network endpoints that create/consume data. These need to be secured and managed.
  • 5G is the evolution of our current mobile networks.
  • AI on mobile devices today most often takes the form of personal digital assistants but it will rapidly become essential to most businesses by replacing mundane or repetitive tasks (freeing up human resources for more valuable work), and by acting automatically upon the vast streams of data coming into the organization.

We are right on the cusp of an AI-driven, 5G-fueled, IoT-enabled world. This is the next wave of mobility and it brings with it the exact same concerns that we had about the first wave, smartphones and tablets: how are we going to secure and manage all of this?


Future-Proofing Our Customers and Partners with Samsung Knox

When we first developed Knox over 5 years ago, we set out on a journey to address two important concerns for our enterprise and government customers. First, we sought to make the world’s most secure mobile devices. Arguably, we have achieved this aim and we continue to invest heavily in our core Knox Platform. Our industry-leading analyst rankings and government security accreditations attest to our success here. Secondly, we began developing what has evolved into a comprehensive and modular portfolio of solutions and services that allow our customers to manage the entire enterprise lifecycle of their mobile devices from initial configuration and setup through deployment and management and onwards to application management, firmware version control, and a few other extras along the way as needed.

Today, we include the core Knox security platform in every smartphone and tablet that we manufacture (all manufactured in Samsung facilities). We also include Knox in our smartwatches, and have begun to include it in a growing number of our visual displays and household appliances. In fact, it is our goal to integrate the core Knox security platform into every single network connected device and appliance that we manufacture. Why? Because regardless of what the device or appliance is for, it will be a node on a network. And where it makes sense to do so we will provide the configuration and management tools required for those devices, just like we do for today’s mobile devices with our Knox solution portfolio.

Integrating variants of the Knox platform into every single device that we manufacture may seem excessive. At Samsung, we don’t think it is. Any network connected device – whether it be a smartphone or a toaster – can be used as a gateway to every other device on that same network. There may not be any data on the toaster. The toaster probably isn’t running any apps. But if for some reason the toaster is connected to a network, then the bad guys will attack it. It’s fairly intuitive to most people that a smartphone needs to be protected somehow. We create and consume data on them. We interact with them constantly. But a toaster? It’s far less intuitive that many of the same protections need to be applied to such an appliance, and that’s what makes it such an attractive attack vector. Imagine your toaster being used as a gateway to gain access to your security system or your computer. Or imagine in our IoT world someone injecting false data into a sensor, precipitating potentially catastrophic downstream effects by the AI algorithms that are fed by that sensor. Or imagine smart city grids being compromised, connected cars being hijacked, the list goes on. The simple fact is that every single node on the network needs to be protected. Those nodes that are out of sight and out of mind are just as susceptible to attack as the one you’re reading this on.

That’s where Knox comes into play.

At Samsung we are steadfast in our belief that the only way to ensure the integrity and security of a device (and therefore any apps and data on the device) is to make the security model part of the device, to fuse security into the device’s DNA if you will. Layering on software-level security after the fact is simply not good enough and in most cases is illusory: if an attacker can gain access to a device below the application layer at the firmware or hardware level, that attacker will have higher privileges on the device than your software security application and be able to circumvent or even eliminate the application. This includes EMM/UEM tools, VPNs, MTDs, the list goes on. None of these will protect your apps and data if the device itself can be compromised, and none of these do anything to protect the actual device. That’s why we built Knox: to ensure via hardware-anchored overlapping defense and security mechanisms that span the entire device from chipset to the application layer that you can trust that Samsung devices are always in a state of integrity and trust. We don’t replace an EMM/UEM tool, a VPN, or any other solution: we work in tandem with them to complement their capabilities by providing a trusted platform upon which to base them.

We are applying this same core thinking to The Next Mobile Economy and the myriad hyper-connected endpoints that are emerging. Knox – both the core security platform and the accompanying solution portfolio – is ready to move forward with you, regardless of your business or your needs.

Welcome to the future!