In response to Google I/O announcements, BlackBerry criticizes Android's lack of security. On point, or sour grapes?
BlackBerry CEO John Chen took a swipe at Google this week, suggesting the Android-maker's new security push is too little, too late. In today's world of BYOD, Chen says businesses need to prioritize security from the start, not add it after the fact.
Android For Work will be built into Android Release L, and will also be available separately for earlier versions of Android going back to Ice Cream Sandwich. Google is relying a bit on the hard work done by Samsung to entice businesses by adopting portions of Samsung's Knox security platform. With Android For Work, businesses can separate work data from personal data through containerization. The segregated data can be managed from the IT admin console and locked, wiped, or restored as needed without touching the owner's personal information.
Android For Work also allows for the bulk installation of apps to an entire fleet of devices. According to Google, companies won't have to modify their apps to function within the Android For Work environment.
It's a big step forward for Android, one that should make it more attractive to businesses. In a blog post, BlackBerry's Chen contends Google's efforts are a good first step, but are only the start.
"At Google's I/O developer conference, the company said it would do several things to boost Android's security. Most prominently, this includes separating work and personal apps and data in coming versions of Android by leveraging Samsung's Knox containerization technology," said Chen. "I'm delighted by this first step. The need to improve Android's security was clear. And it validates what we at BlackBerry have been saying all along about the potential perils that businesses face in the BYOD era."
As Chen points out, however, Knox's success can be described as limited at best. Fewer than 2 million Samsung devices are actually running Knox. To put that in some perspective, Samsung sells between 75 million and 90 million smartphones per quarter.
Read more at EE Times sister site Information Week.