The Martian, NASA, Android, and BES12


astroHonestly, I never imagined that securing mobile data would be an exciting topic for me. The younger Luke Reimer had his sights set on designing video games or making craft beer. But it’s striking how, piece by piece, a wider perspective unfolds.

Looking backward doesn’t feel nearly as exciting as looking forward. But imagine describing what’s out your window or on your desk to someone 20 years ago. Self-driving, electric cars. Wearable nanotech fabrics. Satellite internet. Thin, sensitive, touch screen devices smarter than the computers used to launch the Apollo missions.

It’s easy to jump forward to hot topics like wearable technology, which is certainly just around the corner, but indulge me as we look beyond the next few years and peer further into the future. I recently finished reading The Martian by Andy Weir, and I can’t wait for the film to hit theaters this fall. One of the struggles that astronaut hero Mark Watney faces in the story is communicating with Earth in order to survive and be rescued. Fiction turns to fact when you consider that NASA is currently laser-focused on deep space communication, has developed solar arrays that could power these long-range vessels, and is beginning to 3D print their engine components.

If humanity were to take to the stars, the implications for data management, organization, security, and transmission technologies would be profound. For example, Dan Simmons in his Hyperion novel series writes of “world webs” and access to the knowledge and information of entire planets, solar systems, and civilizations from anywhere in the galaxy. Perhaps the data security challenges of the future will entail validating docking requests for asteroid mining ships, or establishing a network of proximity sensor data to automatically prevent near-orbit collisions. Will privacy law be a hot topic as communications between solar systems pass through a corporately-owned relay? Who will ensure that life-support systems are tamper-proof, or that the airlocks won’t answer to malicious commands?

Even in our interstellar infancy, researchers are already finding security flaws and vulnerabilities in satellite communication systems. What happens to these issues when private industry and governments alike aggressively expand operations beyond our atmosphere?


I hope that when it happens we’ll be there playing a part in the success of such enterprises. Today, we’re focused on organizing and securing the data here on earth – in the pockets and on the desks of millions. While the next frontier may be interplanetary communications, I believe that today’s top challenge is securing Android platforms – and one may very well lead to the other. Android accounts for nearly 80% of worldwide mobile devices. And Darlene Storm of Computerworld estimates that 98% of all malware is targeted at Android.

It would seem that open source invites trouble – but that’s where BlackBerry enters the picture. BES12 isn’t your grandfather’s BES; it’s cloud-based with a sleek browser-driven console and has been specifically designed to handle iOS, Android, Windows, and BlackBerry devices. We work every day with Google and Samsung to fine-tune how BES12 integrates with Android for Work and Samsung KNOX. And we have our eye on what the future holds as the proliferation of devices and data doubles, triples, and beyond.

After you watch the trailer for The Martian, head over to where I’ve been collecting and updating the latest news on Android security, data trends, and resources. It’s the one-stop-shop where you can keep tabs on challenges and solutions for tackling the Android platform in order to enable your business to stay secure, productive, and growing. If you have any articles to share, don’t hesitate to post in the comments.

About Luke Reimer

@Luke_Reimer is a Senior Marketing Manager at BlackBerry helping to design, launch, and manage enterprise marketing programs - particularly concerning content across digital mediums. Beyond spreading BlackBerry goodness in enterprise communities, you can find Luke cooking up a storm, out on his motorcycle (when Canadian weather allows), or digging into a good science fiction book.

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