Samsung Knox Matrix: your fridge may soon help protect your smartphones
Samsung celebrates ten years of its Knox security platform this month. First introduced in 2013, Knox has evolved over the years into a security platform that is protecting "billions of consumers and businesses" according to Samsung.
Knox Matrix is the next big step for security and "Samsung's vision for a safer future" according to the announcement on Samsung's Newsroom website.
The main idea behind Knox Matrix is to move security from the device level to the ecosystem level. Instead of relying on protections for each device individually, Knox Matrix unifies security on the ecosystem level.
Samsung notes that more and more devices have connectivity, from smartphones and other mobile devices to televisions, refrigerators, solar panels or robot vacuum cleaners. More devices make for greater risks, as each individual device may have security issues that criminals may exploit.
While single-device protections will remain an essential part in security, Samsung believes that this form of protection is not well suited to keep up. Exploitation of one device in an ecosystem might lead to attacks against other devices that the customer or business owns.
Knox Matrix creates a trusted network that all devices that support the feature are connected to. If a device in the network is attacked successfully, Know Matrix will immediately isolate the device so that it can't be used to attack other devices in the same ecosystem.
Samsung claims that security gets stronger the more devices a user has connected to the trusted network.
Know Matrix offers three critical features that "ensure its success" according to Samsung:
- Trust Chain makes devices monitor all other devices of a trusted network for threats.
- Credential Sync protects user data while it is moved between devices.
- Cross Platform SDK allows devices on multiple platforms to join Knox Matrix "with consistent security standards". Currently limited to Android, Tizen and Windows.
Knox Matrix uses a private blockchain "allowing compatible devices to check each other for breaches and ensure safety with intelligent threat monitoring".
Samsung admits that development is challenging, mainly because of the number of different types of products, operating systems and security standards. The company plans to alert users about "potentially unsafe situations", mentioning the use of old firmware specifically.
Samsung Galaxy phones and tablets will be the first to get Know Matrix support. First Knox Matrix models will be released in 2024 with support for all three features and the promise that more features will be added at later stages through updates.
Samsung home appliance devices will get support in the coming two or three years. Partner devices will also receive the option to include Knox Matrix into their products around the same time.
Samsung's Knox Matrix feature lands in 2024 in the first devices. Samsung did not mention whether older devices will receive Knox Matrix support as well, or if the feature is limited to new devices released in 2024 and later only.
As is the case with all security products, it has to get battle tested to find out how well its protective features work. It is an interesting idea, although limited to Samsung products and some partner products only.
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