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Blackberry changes tack to secure enterprise internet of things

After dropping devices to concentrate on mobile device management, Blackberry is poised to take on IoT security under John Chen’s leadership

BlackBerry has moved beyond mobile device management with a platform targeting the emerging world of the internet of things (IoT) in the enterprise.

Bringing together the company’s recent acquisitions of Good Technology, WatchDox, AtHoc and Encription, the platform provides cloud-enabled enterprise endpoint security.

“Businesses must be able to confidentially and reliably transmit sensitive data between endpoints to keep people, information and goods safe,” said John Chen, executive chairman and CEO of BlackBerry.

“BlackBerry is uniquely qualified to address this emerging market now because of our deep experience, industry leadership and ongoing product innovation that addresses future business needs.”

The company hopes to cater for the collection of devices, computers, sensors, trackers, equipment and other “things” that communicate with each other to enable smart product development, distribution, marketing and sales.

Blackberry also said its platform can help to prevent hackers from penetrating devices and computers.

It hopes to address the security requirements needed to connect sensors to computers and networks to support secure supply chain communications, ensure patient confidentiality in healthcare and safeguard assets in the financial industry.

“Our customers’ investments are protected because this foundational platform is not only compatible with our current products and third-party software, such as Microsoft Office 365, but is also ‘future-proofed’ to address upcoming capabilities such as messaging and analytics,” said Chen. 

“It allows customers to build their own apps, workflows and business processes, and will be compatible with future applications and cloud-based systems because we have plans to expand the platform’s features, market segments it supports and our entire partner ecosystem,” he added.

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BlackBerry said it has become the first major mobile software provider to receive the new Cyber Essentials Plus (CE+) certification from the UK government.

In the Blackberry blog, senior vice-president of security technology for BlackBerry, Adam Boulton, said the certification covers account management, firewall configuration, device configuration, backup processes and other security-related configurations. Boulton said the Ministry of Defence now mandates CE+ certification across its supply chain.

To obtain Cyber Essentials Plus, a qualified and authorised external tester needs to perform additional tests and checks in the organisation.

This includes an internal scan of the network, verification of account security for both standard users and administrative accounts, and testing for defences against malicious software installation via email and web browsing. Blackberry is now also an accredited Cyber Essentials Plus certifying body.

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