Wednesday, 24 February 2021 19:22

ASD approves use of recent Samsung Galaxy smartphones in Aust Govt agencies


Samsung Electronics has announced that the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) has released an "updated Security Configuration Guidance" that includes a range of new Samsung Galaxy devices which can now be used by Australian government departments and Critical Infrastructure agencies.

Devices listed in the new Security Configuration Guidance include the Galaxy S20 FE, S20 FE 5G, Note20 and Note20 5G, but they’re not the only Samsung models listed.

The Guidance also includes the Samsung S10e, the S10, S10 5G, S10+, S20, S20 5G, S20+, S20+ 5G, and the S20 Ultra 5G, which is a very wide range of all of Samsung's most recent phones save for its even more recent S21 series, which are presumably still just too new to be as yet included, although we imagine this will change within a few months’ time.

The devices have been included in the updated Security Configuration Guidance based on stringent testing and assessments undertaken by the ASD and provide guidance for the use of these Samsung mobile devices in “Sensitive” and “Protected” deployments. The Guidance opens the opportunity for government departments and agencies to utilise some of Samsung’s latest in mobile innovation as part of the operations.

The announcement follows the Australian Signals Directorate’s Cryptographic Evaluation (ACE) level certification of the Galaxy S9 and S9+ models in 2019, which became the first Android devices to be approved for Australian government use at “Protected” level. The ACE program determines the strength and effectiveness of device security architecture.

Garry McGregor, Vice President of IT and Mobile, Samsung Electronics Australia said: “Samsung devices are designed to provide a safe and secure operating platform for use in a wide range of conditions and under stringent environments,”

“This latest Configuration Guidance from the ASD opens the opportunity for a wider range of our Galaxy devices to be utilised within some of the most demanding Government departments and scenarios. We look forward to building our relationship with the Australian Government by delivering the very best in Samsung mobile innovation and security.”

A key aspect of the testing and approval of Samsung devices for use by the government is based on the Galaxy device Knox platform which can be tailored to support organisations with incredibly high security protocols at a hardware and software level.

“Our heritage in device hardware and solution innovation, supported by the Samsung Knox platform, means we set the highest bar for our customers. Samsung’s Knox system was specifically built to provide an additional layer of protection for mobile handsets on top of the Android operating system, at both hardware and software levels.” McGregor added.

ASD testing includes patching applications and operating systems, configuration of Microsoft Office macro settings, user application hardening, restricting administrative privileges, and multi-factor authentication.

Samsung reminds us that it "provides a range of customisable and tailored solutions for business, enterprise, and government customers in Australia and overseas. Globally, Samsung mobility solutions are utilised by government departments in many countries including, the USA, United Kingdom, and European Union."

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

Alex Zaharov-Reutt is iTWire's Technology Editor is one of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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