Mobile Security: Virtualization on the smartphone

LG recently announced a new platform called GATE that will enable some LG business smartphones to run two mobile operating systems in parallel. LG appears, with this feature, to be reacting to the security concerns many organizations have around BYOD (Bring Your Own Device). Virtualization is one of the smartest options for enhancing the security of mobile devices, as we discussed in the KuppingerCole Advisory Note “BYOD”.

By virtualizing the smartphones and providing two segregated environments, users can access both their business and their private environment, with the business apps operating in a segregated and more secure way in concert with the business backend systems.

I personally like that approach, because it focuses on making the smartphone smart enough for BYOD. Together with additional features such as built-in and improved MDM (Mobile Device Management) support and VPN integration, LG is raising the bar for enterprise ready smartphones.

However, there is one question LG has left open as of now: which types of strong authentication are supported for access to the smartphone, particularly the business virtual machine? Clearly, segregation makes a lot of sense. But without adequate strong authentication, there is still a security gap.

Overall, it is good to see smartphone vendors making significant progress in security. The bad thing about this is that they should have started with that security evolution years ago. But better late then never.



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