Today’s IT infrastructures are extremely complex systems. Securing them is not easy, but BlackBerry has been doing this commendable job for quite some time. The company works with multiple devices and operating systems such as smartphones, tablets, BlackBerry 10 and Android.
How does BlackBerry manage to secure all of these devices? It might sound a little odd, but security often begins at endpoints.
When it comes to enterprise mobility, mobile devices are the main endpoints. Over the last few years, tablets and smartphones have become much more powerful. Today, they can match the functionality of desktop computers. Take, for instance, the case of the BlackBerry Passport. It is powered by a 2.2 GHz Quad core processor and has 3GB of RAM. It has a 13 megapixel camera with full HD video recording capabilities. The smartphone can also run thousands of apps.
When mobile devices become more powerful and more complex, they also need integrated security. The security of BB devices is embedded in their hardware. Let’s see how BlackBerry does this.
BlackBerry believes that security should be embedded deep into the system.
BlackBerry signs its hardware to confirm that the integrity of the device is intact. The company injects the security keys at manufacturing and verifies them whenever the device connects to the secure Blackberry network. The same keys can also verify the integrity of the software powering the device.
The BlackBerry security is built on the foundation of Hardware Root of Trust. Whenever a BlackBerry device boots up, it has to go through a serious of complex and unique checks to confirm that the integrity of all components are intact.
- The Boot ROM’s digital signature is verified by the CPU Embedded Boot ROM.
- The operating system’s signing key is verified by the Boot ROM.
- The hash of the Base File System is verified by the OS.
- The hashes of all installed apps are verified by the OS.
BlackBerry has proved that it can secure Android devices as well. For nearly 2 years, BlackBerry 10 has been securely running Android applications using Android Player.
The BlackBerry OS version 10.2.1 was able to install all APK files. And the latest version of the OS, the BlackBerry 10.3 comes equipped with Amazon’s Appstore for Android apps.
Thanks to the integrity of BlackBerry hardware and the expertise of Trend Micro on mobile malware, BlackBerry devices can run Android applications without compromising their security or user privacy.
The latest version of BlackBerry Enterprise Server BES 12 can secure iOS and Android devices. Recently, BlackBerry also signed a new deal with Samsung to offer security for its Android devices.
Securing the future
Sony executives were scrambling for BlackBerry devices when a massive hacking attack crippled Sony Pictures almost two months ago. In the US, President Obama has proposed a new law to protect the privacy of users. As technology evolves security and privacy will become more and more important for governments, businesses and consumers. As long as BlackBerry can offer a trusted platform with highly secure endpoints, it will be the leader in mobile security and privacy.