Is the BlackBerry® platform still secure? Is security still a primary concern for RIM? If you weren’t sure of the answer to these questions, you should be now! It’s no secret that security is a rich part of our history and a core pillar of the BlackBerry solution. Through diligent work in software architecture design, maintenance and construction of the BlackBerry solution, and employing end-to-end encryption models, we aim to make security a consideration that you don’t have to worry about.
Trend Micro™ recently published a report that seeks to address the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend in the workplace by evaluating leading mobile platforms based on security standards and corporate integration. “An increasing number of companies are opening corporate networks and data to consumer mobile technology,” states the report in its Executive Summary. Although “BYOD” may be the buzzword of the year, securing these devices is a major concern for IT administrators – and on the other side it makes perfect sense for employees to seek to bring their own smartphones to work. Their own individual devices have the capability, they’re familiar, and they avoid the dual-device headache that some have faced.
The report published by Trend Micro seeks to inform those facing this trend to ensure that they are able to tackle it effectively, efficiently, and securely within their organizations. Sizes of business vary, as well as industry and information sensitivity, but data security is important to all businesses employing mobile solutions today. And in some cases, keeping data secure can be a make-or-break scenario hinging on retaining a competitive advantage.
The report rates the BlackBerry® 7 OS as having the highest overall rating for security out of all four major smartphone platforms. For example, it was the only operating system with any rating at all for device firewall. Overall, Trend Micro wrote: “Corporate-grade security and manageability make this [BlackBerry] platform the option of choice for the most stringent mobile roles.”
Okay, so it’s secure. But I need features and usability!
This is where many authors stop. The platform is demonstrated as secure, a clear conclusion is presented, and reputable sources cited. However, we know that you and your employees need so much more than this. The underlying issue behind BYOD is that employees want to use the incredible features included in these smartphones: the camera, webmail, Facebook®, Twitter®, LinkedIn®, blogs, and more. Today our mobile phones allow us to be constantly connected to all aspects of our life – including during the 9AM-5PM timeframe.
What we’re looking at here is a set of requirements for a mobile solution within your organization. I’d outline them something like this:
- Supports multiple mobile platforms, allowing use of personal phones for work
- Able to connect these devices to your infrastructure and mail servers
- Includes manageability of your data – remote wipe, provisioning, security measures, and more
- Leaves personal data untouched
- A feature-rich experience, including access to social media, while limiting risk to the company
This isn’t the first time these requirements have been presented. This is what’s happening right now in corporate mobility. It’s also what has been requested of the BlackBerry platform as a trusted provider of mobile solutions with. Here’s what we came up with:
BlackBerry® Mobile Fusion
Strike off number one, two, and three from that requirements list. BlackBerry Mobile Fusion is designed to allow you to support multiple platforms including BlackBerry OS, iOS® and Android™ smartphones and tablets. Secondly, it allows you to connect these devices into your infrastructure to setup corporate mail, IT policies, data encryption, and more. And thirdly, it allows you to set data management policies.
This is where BlackBerry really shines. Most BlackBerry smartphones and the BlackBerry® PlayBook™ tablet include this feature, and this one smashes requirements number four and five out of the park. BlackBerry Balance technology creates a secure perimeter within the OS of a BlackBerry device, which separates work and personal apps, data, accounts, and more. The end user experience is designed to be seamless, and within the inner workings, specific settings can be created to prevent data from passing from the corporate area to the personal. This allows for a full-featured experience for employees who use social media and other personal apps and accounts. It also saves the cost of deploying corporately owned BlackBerry devices if employees have their own BlackBerry smartphones that can be brought into the company network and activated with BlackBerry Balance technology.
Moving forward from here: industry trends, and our roadmap for the future
BlackBerry Mobile Fusion and BlackBerry Balance technology are designed to help organizations cut costs, and minimize security risks while maintaining a great user experience, and to set you up for the future in response to fast-moving trends in business mobility. From here, we do what we do best: closely watch for new challenges around the corner, listen to our business customers to understand what they need, and craft solutions to keep you one step ahead.
In terms of specifics, it was fantastic to hear our CIO, Robin Bienfait, and Alan Panezic, VP of Enterprise Product Management and Marketing at RIM, take the stage at BlackBerry World™ 2012 to make a few exciting announcements. Within the next year, they shared, BlackBerry Mobile Fusion will be offered as a cloud-based solution, as well as via partners as a hosted solution. This will make it even easier to face what’s being thrown at you, simplify deployment, and present major opportunities for our many partners and resellers. We’ll be diving into these announcements to unpack what they mean for you in the coming months. I can’t wait to get started!
What’s one challenge that your organization is facing in terms of mobile devices? Share in the comments below.