What ‎Makes BlackBerry So Secure? Let’s Look at Five Fundamentals of Security



One of the best parts of being at BlackBerry is working with customers to understand their needs and concerns. In eight years with BlackBerry Security, I’ve had the chance to talk to thousands of customers ranging from government agencies to large corporations to everyday consumers.

When I started out, most people weren’t even sure if they needed security on their phones. Today, security and privacy are hot topics for everyone who owns a mobile device. Governments and enterprises need to secure their data to ensure that it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. High-profile corporate data leaks have caused tremendous damage and drawn attention to the need for secure Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM). Consumers, meanwhile, want the freedom to download apps, connect to social networks and interact with their friends anywhere and anytime while maintaining their right to private communication.

The question is no longer whether security is important. The question is: What makes BlackBerry so secure?

To answer that, let’s step back and look at the fundamentals:

  • Security is extremely difficult. The defender needs to protect all of the entry points, while the attacker only needs one vulnerability.
  • Security is only as strong as its weakest link. Hackers, home intruders and electricity follow the path of least resistance. If you lock, deadbolt and chain the front door, make sure you don’t leave the window open.
  • Security is about economics. No system is impenetrable, so security needs to be implemented in the right places. The resources spent on security need to align with the value of what you’re protecting.
  • Secure systems need secure foundations. To be effective, security needs to be baked into the system from the very beginning. Security is not a feature or an enhancement; it’s a fundamental property of the system.
  • Security takes time and experience. You cannot build a secure product overnight, and you cannot compromise on security. The only true test is the test of time.

At BlackBerry, our software and hardware are BlackBerry-built, providing an end-to-end layered defense, beginning at the crucial hardware root of trust. We verify the authenticity of the OS and software every single time any BlackBerry device in the world boots up. The fortified foundations of the QNX Neutrino microkernel provide integrity, resiliency and security. Resilient enough to power cars and nuclear plants and designed to fail safe, the QNX core protects against malware, tampering and data leakage. Data is encrypted and secured on the device, across our trusted network and behind the corporate firewall. BES10 provides manageability, BBM Enterprise (formerly known as BBM Protected) provides secure instant messaging and BlackBerry Guardian protects against mobile malware.

For more than 15 years, we’ve infused security into every aspect of our product designs. New attacks are always emerging and we invest heavily to develop new security technologies, improve product quality and provide customers with security tools and guidance. We work closely with customers, researchers and partners to defend and fortify the security and privacy of our products.

We’re very happy to see the industry recognize the importance of mobile security and work to improve their products. But when it comes to true end-to-end security trusted by the world’s most powerful leaders, the choices are few and far between. BlackBerry is synonymous with mobile security, and we will continue to do everything we can to protect our valued customers and their data.

Let me know your thoughts by commenting below or tweet using #BBSecurity.

About Alex Manea

Alex Manea is BlackBerry’s Chief Security Officer. As a founding member of BlackBerry Security, Alex has protected mobile, desktop and IoT devices, networks and infrastructure for over a decade. He is a Certified Software Security Lifecycle Professional and has an Honors degree in Systems Design Engineering from the University of Waterloo. In 2015, Alex starred on the hit TV show Canada’s Smartest Person, winning his episode with the highest score of the season.

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