Why the military protecting the Vatican added the Samsung Knox suite to its arsenal – Samsung Global Newsroom
THE Papal Swiss Guard (Guardia Svizzera Pontificia or GSP) is responsible for protecting the Pope and the Popes’ Palace in Vatican City, a place visited by an average of 25,000 tourists per day.
Having protected the popes in the Vatican since 1506, the GSP is a Renaissance army that performs its duties very successfully in the modern era. However, things have changed drastically since the first Swiss citizens took up their halberds, a two-handed pole-type weapon, to defend the pope.
Technological advancements have encouraged the GSP to modernize its tactics and technology to provide security for Vatican City. To do this effectively, they needed a robust solution that would allow them to be mobile, smart and digital and ensure that their communications were as secure as the Vatican Apostolic Archives. The importance of security and privacy cannot be overstated, and huge considerations around any technology integration must be made.
The SPG chose Knox suite, Samsung Electronics’ powerful and adaptable mobile device management platform, because of the wide range of crucial benefits it offers. The platform is designed to help IT administrators easily secure, deploy and manage devices in a way that suits their business. Highly customizable and adaptable, Knox Suite is perfectly suited to meet the most diverse and complex needs.
For example, the platform allows system administrators to remotely manage and monitor the location of each device used by the GSP and wipe data in the event of a lost or stolen device. It also allows the organization to customize the configuration and functionality of its devices based on the changing requirements needed to help protect the Vatican.
Knox Suite is also essential to the GSP in high-risk scenarios. Through the platform, the GSP can instantly share threat information across multiple devices, while patrol leaders can see where all GSP members are deployed at all times.
Knox suite1 consists of Knox Platform for Enterprise, Knox Mobile Enrollment, Knox Manage, Knox E-FOTA (Enterprise Firmware Over the Air) and Knox Asset Intelligence. Among them, the main solutions and functions used by the GSP are the following:
- Knox mobile registration — Makes device enrollment easier for IT administrators and device users. Knox Mobile Enrollment makes it easy to set up thousands of devices simultaneously. The ability to quickly initialize a batch of new devices means they can be deployed quickly, helping to reduce any potential device downtime for the GSP. New devices can also be enrolled quickly and easily via Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth or QR code scans.
- Manage Knox— Allows the GSP to restrict content from remote devices and disable certain features, such as cameras and microphones, at certain times. For example, if a device is stolen or lost, it can be locked or wiped to ensure the content is inaccessible to malicious parties.
Knox Manage also gives the GSP the ability to limit non-essential app usage. This creates a highly simplified user experience and streamlines the apps guards need to perform their duties. Minimizing distractions and reducing time spent on devices allows the GSP to ensure maximum focus and productivity.
This feature also helps restrict devices in sensitive situations to provide additional security. Knox Manage could be used at the next papal conclave, for example, to help protect information and communications while key decisions are made.
Galaxy Tab Active Series with Knox Suite
The Vatican is perhaps as synonymous with secrecy as it is with tradition. To ensure the privacy of its members and staff, the guards have added state-of-the-art enterprise software to their security arsenal, alongside halberds and swords. In addition, Samsung Galaxy rugged deviceslike the Galaxy XCover Pro and Galaxy Tab Active series, which led the GSP to report fewer repairs and fewer devices to replace.
Although it is “the smallest army in the world”, the GSP carries an immense responsibility and therefore requires mobile devices with military specifications.2 Accidents can happen suddenly and unexpectedly, but Galaxy’s rugged devices are incredibly reliable and offer an IP68 rating.3 protection against water and dust. Knowing that Galaxy XCover and Tab Active series devices can withstand harsh conditions, guards can perform their duties with confidence in the reliability and longevity of their tools.
For example, the Galaxy Tab Active2 offers a wide range of features such as improved touch for use with gloves4 and a long-lasting, replaceable battery5 which minimizes downtime in the event of low power. THE Galaxy Tab Active3 builds on these features with a clearer, high-resolution display and a programmable key that provides instant access to critical applications, such as push-to-talk or emergency functions.
The Galaxy Tab Active3 also supports Samsung DeX,6 which provides a PC-like experience when plugged into a monitor or TV, for agents performing scheduling or administrative tasks. These diverse features make the Galaxy Tab Active series an ideal mobile device choice, backed by Knox Suite, for a professional honor guard with hundreds of years of history.
End-to-end support, from hardware to software
Samsung also provides continuous support at every turn. The GSP can request assistance if they have questions or concerns about their devices, operating systems or features, ensuring that they always have the best tools available in the performance of their duties.
With the ideal management platform, robust hardware, and end-to-end support, Samsung provides the device security and productivity the GSP needs to preserve tradition while transitioning into a new digital age. The comprehensive offerings of the Knox Suite platform mean that the Pontifical Swiss Guard can be confident that it performs its duties with the best possible support. Armed with Samsung’s rugged, reliable and secure digital devices, the GSP can seamlessly focus on protecting the Pope and the Vatican, as they have traditionally done for over 500 years.
1 Requires separate license key (purchased separately).
2 Galaxy Tab Active2 is MIL-STD-810G compliant. Galaxy Tab Active3 is MIL-STD-810H compliant. MIL-STD-810 is a standardized form of testing for altitude, humidity, immersion, salt spray, dust, vibration, drops, etc., designed by the U.S. military to accurately assess device limitations.
3 IP68 rating: water resistance based on test conditions for immersion in up to 1.5 meters of fresh water for up to 30 minutes and protection from dust, dirt and sand . Rinse residue/dry after wetting. Not recommended for beach or pool use.
4 Touch sensitivity responsiveness may vary depending on glove material, thickness and other environmental conditions.
5 Actual battery life may vary depending on network environment, usage patterns and other factors. Additional replaceable battery sold separately. In the case of additional replaceable batteries, only Samsung certified products are compatible for use.
6 Samsung DeX on Galaxy Tab Active3 is available on compatible external displays via wired or wireless connections. Compatible apps may vary.
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