How BlackBerry And Trend Micro Protect You From Malicious Android Apps


Note: BlackBerry Guardian is now available on the BlackBerry Classic and the BlackBerry Passport. To enable BlackBerry Guardian, navigate to Settings > App Manager > Installing Apps and turn on Inspect Apps Before Installing.

Applications are a key component of any software platform, and BlackBerry is one of the leading platforms for mobile app development. In addition to all the apps in BlackBerry World, we’ve partnered with Amazon to make the Amazon (Android) Appstore available on BlackBerry 10 smartphones. This vibrant Android ecosystem gives users maximum choice and lets us place our emphasis on developing vital enterprise and productivity applications.

As leaders in mobile security, we at BlackBerry feel a strong responsibility to protect users’ privacy and security. I’m very proud to lead the team responsible for BlackBerry Guardian, a program that combines automated and manual analysis with Trend Micro’s Mobile App Reputation Service to comprehensively vet apps in our storefront. Apps submitted to BlackBerry World are continuously monitored to help protect customers from malware and privacy issues. If we identify a suspicious app, we investigate and take whatever action is needed to protect BlackBerry customers, including either denying the app or removing it from BlackBerry World.

I’m happy to announce that starting with the BlackBerry Passport, BlackBerry Guardian can check all Android apps that customers install on their BlackBerry smartphones. This includes apps from the Amazon Appstore and apps installed from other sources. If a suspicious app is detected, the user will have the choice to proceed or cancel the installation. This on-device service will be available for free to users of the BlackBerry Passport, BlackBerry Classic and future BlackBerry 10 devices. Existing BlackBerry 10 customers can expect to see BlackBerry Guardian in an upcoming BlackBerry 10 software update.

BlackBerry Guardian is just one part of our multi-layered security strategy. BlackBerry 10 was designed for security from the ground up. Resilient enough to power nuclear power plants and designed to fail safe, the QNX microkernel core that powers the BlackBerry 10 OS offers exceptional security strengths. Its unique sandboxing capabilities are designed to contain and separate each application and its data from other applications and core system functionality. For nearly 10 years, our on-device application permissions have given BlackBerry users full visibility and control over what resources apps can access (e.g. GPS, Calendar). BlackBerry Balance provides a clear separation between Work and Personal apps and data, protecting users’ privacy and letting them install apps while securing corporate data. Enterprises can whitelist and blacklist applications through BlackBerry World for Work and enforce IT policy controls to protect users.

Last but definitely not least, we’re committed to transparent communication and response to security incidents and threats. Our dedicated BlackBerry Security Incident Response Team constantly monitors emerging threats and works with internal teams to get them resolved as quickly as possible. We also engage with BlackBerry developers to help them follow security best practices and protect user privacy.

As we continue to expand our app platform, you can be sure that we’ll continue to proactively protect all of our customers. BlackBerry is synonymous with mobile security, and our malware and privacy protections are yet another example of our industry leadership and innovation.


About David MacFarlane

David MacFarlane is the Senior Director of Security Assurance at BlackBerry. David is responsible for building customer confidence in the BlackBerry security ecosystem through the security certifications and BlackBerry Guardian programs. He is a founding member of the BlackBerry Security Group that has made the transparency of its security solutions BlackBerry's single biggest differentiator in enterprise and consumer markets.

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