BlackBerry is bringing its heralded enterprise-grade security to Apple iOS and Google Android devices.
The Canadian tech company's mobile device management (MDM) solution, BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 (BES10), announced today that it has cleared a major hurdle in helping highly-regulated, security-conscious firms bring iPads and Samsung Galaxy handsets into their IT environments. Secure Work Space, the iOS and Android containerization component in BES10, has achieved Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 140-2 certified. The company's hardware has long supported the standard.
Despite its flagging fortunes -- the company is currently shedding some real estate after a bruising battle with Apple and Google for mobile device market share -- BlackBerry still clings to a reputation as a company that places a premium on data security. "BlackBerry is considered the most trusted and secure mobile platform and we continue to provide customers with choice and flexibility without compromising security," claimed Scott Totzke, Senior Vice President, Security Group at BlackBerry in a company statement.
Now the company is giving businesses yet another reason to consider BES10. "The FIPS 140-2 validation for Secure Work Space for iOS and Android demonstrates the multi-platform security capabilities that BlackBerry delivers for customers, helping governments and enterprises alike to deploy third-party devices with more confidence and less risk," added Totzke.
FIPS 140-2, a standard from the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), denotes the suitability of cryptographic hardware and software components for use by the U.S. Government, a major IT market segment unto itself. Often, enterprises with high data security requirements will look to such certifications to inform their IT buying decisions.
In the case of Secure Work Space for BES10, the nod "demonstrates BlackBerry’s security capabilities for the transfer of sensitive data on third party devices." The platform encrypts both data-at-rest and data-in-transit, extending those capabilities to iOS and Android smartphones and tablets.
Secure Work Space allows administrators to wipe, secure and configure apps and data remotely. As with most containerized MDM solutions, it also enables workers to keep their personal and private lives separate -- and separately secure -- on the same device.
In remarks, IDC mobility analyst Ben Hoffman said public and private sector organizations "must take the necessary steps to protect sensitive data and ensure that their mobile solutions offer the highest level of security." He added that the FIPS 140-2 seal of approval is indicative of BlackBerry's ability to meet "the strict security requirements that many enterprise customers require."
Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Datamation. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.
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