Protecting the world’s history with today’s technology

The Pontifical Swiss Guard, the unit protecting the popes since 1506, wanted to modernize their technology. To ensure the safety of the Vatican, they needed devices and a digital solution that guaranteed privacy, ruggedness, and efficiency. With the Samsung Galaxy Tab Active series and Knox Suite, the guards received robust devices and a highly configurable device management system that allows them to focus on protecting the pope as they have for the past 500 years. Samsung helps the Pontifical Swiss Guard protect the Vatican through its highly secure Samsung Galaxy devices and Knox solutions.
About the company
  • Industry: Government
  • Company size: Small
  • Location: Vatican City

Connected to their 16th century forebears by name, uniform, and ritual, the Pontifical Swiss Guard is a Renaissance-era army first established in 1506, performing their modern, yet traditional duties with honor in the Vatican.


Developing a robust and highly secure digital service

Given the important nature of their work, the Pontifical Swiss Guard needed devices that, when paired with a digital solution, would allow them to operate at maximum efficiency with no impact to risk.

These devices had to be rugged enough to last despite hard wear and tear, yet be fully configurable as efficient, purpose-built devices. Most importantly, preserving the privacy of Pontifical Swiss Guard communications was essential, and the devices needed to be well-equipped to handle sensitive information.


Rugged devices with an increase in device security, powered by Knox

After a thorough evaluation of their needs, the Samsung Knox team determined that a combination of Galaxy Tab Active devices and Knox Suite would give the Pontifical Swiss Guard the security and flexibility to carry out their duties more effectively.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab Active devices are the ideal pairing for the guards, as they come with IP67 or IP68 ratings for water and dust protection. The touch screen also allows guards to operate their devices even if their gloves get wet.

Knox Suite was chosen for its seamless setup process, as well as its granular and comprehensive device management capabilities. This winning combination enabled the Pontifical Swiss Guard to easily remove potentially distracting apps on their devices, leaving only custom-built apps required for the job. As purpose-built machines, the Galaxy Tab Active devices are optimized for productivity.

Leveraging the Knox security platform, Knox Suite also ensures the Pontifical Swiss Guard can meet all their compliance and safety requirements in addition to protecting their communications.

We can honestly say that Samsung is the ideal technology partner for the Pontifical Swiss Guard as device security and productivity remain a top priority for us today and into the future. 

-Manuel von Däniken, Head of Media, Pontifical Swiss Guard

In partnership with Samsung, The Pontifical Swiss Guard is now equipped with rugged, reliable digital devices that are protected against external threats, allowing them to focus on protecting the pope and the Vatican as they have for the past 500 years.

  • Minimal forces, maximum focus
    • With a small, but mighty force of 135 members, the Pontifical Swiss Guard needs to get the most from each watchman.
    • By switching to Kiosk Mode, which only allows one or a select few apps to be used on devices, the Pontifical Swiss Guard were able to reduce unnecessary device usage and minimize guard distractions.
    • With a unified dashboard, setting up, managing and operating the devices was a simple administrative task.
    • With Samsung’s end-to-end continuous support, any questions or concerns the Pontifical Swiss Guard has are swiftly addressed.
  • Improved uptime and greater reliability
    • The device usage analytics offered by Knox Suite help predict device issues and proactively plan for asset management tasks.
    • Since they rolled out the rugged Galaxy Tab Active devices, the Pontifical Swiss Guard has reported fewer device replacements and repairs needed.
    • With a unified dashboard, setting up, managing and operating the devices was a simple administrative task.
  • More control with fewer risks
    • The ability to remotely track and and lock devices improves visibility and ensures protection in every situation.
    • By removing unnecessary apps and updates, IT admins are in total control, meaning devices are at a significantly decreased risk of malware and data theft.
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