dr. Seungwon Shin is Vice President and Head of Security Team, Mobile eXperience Business at Samsung. In that capacity, he spearheaded several security innovations within the Samsung Galaxy ecosystem, such as the development of secure AP and Samsung Knox Vault. With real-time protection and potential danger predictions, he works continuously on Samsung’s response to security threats in close collaboration with partners and researchers. He is a member of INTERPOL DarkNe Working Group and Chairman of the FIDO Korea Working Group. Before you join At Samsung, he was an associate professor at the School of Electrical Engineering at KAIST (Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology), specializing in Dark Web.
This is a good time for cybercriminals. People with bad intentions and technical knowledge have great opportunities. The challenge for us is to take it from them. How do we do it?
With more and more people working remotely, unsecured public WiFi is increasingly being used. Blockchain encourages fraud and cyber attacks are on the rise. And not just where you expect them. Recent wars have started with digital attacks on infrastructure months before the physical invasion.
And all this at a time when we are becoming more and more dependent on our smartphone. A device that is our wallet, house key and ID in one. A single attack can be devastating, which is why it is so important to have security in place. Let’s take a look at what makes your device secure. You do not want your data to fall into the wrong hands.
What is safe … and what only works like that
At the moment, you are probably convinced that you are doing well because you are not sharing your data with Jan and everyone else. Yet there are many misconceptions about safety. You do not let apps share your name, email or habits. You even disable app tracking permissions. Great, but that does not mean your data is secure. Do not confuse privacy with security. You are convinced that you have chosen a secure mobile ecosystem, as if it were a walled garden. But hackers also do not sit still and react to any situation that arises. Unsecured WiFi, cunning social engineering – these are real threats, no matter how much you think you are protected.
You never open suspicious attachments. Very good, but are you aware that there is such a thing as ‘zero-click’ attacks? So you as a user do not have to do anything and still run a risk? That’s exactly what happened to Pegasus, a spyware that exploited a vulnerability in a popular messaging system. All you had to do was receive a message – without opening it – and hackers were already inside. It is risky to feel more secure than you actually are. Then inattention lurks, and that’s exactly what cybercriminals exploit.
It is sober to realize how many threats there are. This is exactly what inspires us to make Samsung Knox as secure as possible. Embraced by several governments around the world, our industry-leading security platform owes its fame to a multifaceted approach where open collaboration, hardware and software integrated security and real-time protection go hand in hand.
Trust through collaboration
If there is one thing I have learned through my work at INTERPOL, it is that we become stronger through collaboration. Building trust through open collaboration is at the heart of the Android ecosystem. Anyone can access the source code for Android OS, thus strengthening the collective. Several leaders from the tech world not only work together, they inspire each other and challenge each other to achieve the best – read: the safest – results.
Samsung is proud of this open model for partnerships and collaboration. In addition, the work we perform internally, and in this way we want to achieve a flywheel effect. Better and better, more and more safe. We also work closely with Google and hold regular meetings to share our security knowledge. We are also teaming up with hundreds of partners to standardize security for Android.
In addition, we are fortunate to have the widespread community of academics and ethical hackers – aka. white hat hackers mentioned – who we work with in our Mobile Security Rewards program. After identifying potential vulnerabilities, we strengthen them through regular security updates. We have already paid more than $ 3.5 million in prizes and we are so pleased with the results of this partnership.
In addition to identifying and improving weaknesses, we go a step further by predicting them. Opening up our ecosystem has not led to more sensitivities, on the contrary, the result is larger and more versatile security procedures.
Integrated end-to-end approach
It’s not just about software, it’s about everything. Because we manage the entire production ourselves, we can ensure that safety in all parts of the chain – from design to production – plays a crucial role. That is why we are so confident in the security of our devices. We know exactly that end-to-end protection at all levels of your mobile experience – from chips to the apps you use – simply could not be better.
As the world reopens, new risks lurk. That is why we have strengthened Knox Vault by combining Secure Processor with a new Secure Memory Chip. This separates the most critical information (such as PINs, passwords, biometric data, digital certificates, cryptographic keys) from the rest of your device. That way, your data can never fall into the wrong hands. For example, if an important security risk is detected on your device, Samsung Knox automatically shuts down services like Samsung Pay and Samsung Pass.
Anytime, anywhere protection
Some companies mistakenly believe that it is enough to run security programs when charging your phone. It’s different with us, we protect your mobile experience even after charging.
Attackers never rest, so it’s better we do not either.
Offering you real-time protection is our goal. Our technologies RKP (Real-Time Kernel Protection) and DEFEX (Defeat Exploit) work day and night to detect and prevent threats. Our Incident Response and Management team uses machine learning to predict future threats.
While some people buy a new phone every year, others prefer to use their device for longer. That’s why we regularly release security updates to fix vulnerabilities, even up to five years after a device launches. We believe they have just as much right to a secure phone experience as people who prefer to work with the latest models.
Privacy you want with the security you need
Transparent privacy is only possible with the right security measures. How you shape that privacy is entirely up to you. We see it as our task to create a mobile experience that suits you 100% and at the same time protects you optimally.
The world is more connected than ever. This means that there are more risks, but also more opportunities. We believe it is important to protect yourself as you go out to discover new things. With Samsung Galaxy, you are free to live your life exactly as you want. No worries. And with complete privacy and an ultimate sense of security.