I’m at a BlackBerry event, and one of the interesting technologies is SecuSuite, which responds effectively to the threat of state sponsored hacking efforts with possibly the only truly secure smartphone secure communications platform in market. It is comprehensive as well, in that it incorporates most forms of smartphone communications.
By the way, it is interesting to note that BlackBerry just hinted that there will be a new wave of BlackBerry secure phones coming to market in a few months, in volume and variety we haven’t seen this decade. Apparently concerns about security are driving companies back to the brand, as penalties for breaches continue to escalate and actual breaches continue to increase.
In addition, we live in an ever more hostile world. To address this, another product BlackBerry has is AtHoc which, given the increasing threat of physical attack or weather-oriented (global warming) catastrophe, it is a timely tool to assure the safety of your people.
Let’s look at both products this week.
The SecuSuite offering was largely developed in response to the Eric Snowden breach of the NSA, which identified that the US was actively spying on other world leaders, particularly Germany’s Prime Minister. This product was specifically designed to protect against State level attacks and it is actively sold to governments. But given the proliferation of State level attacks and breaches on enterprises, it is increasingly critical that a tool like this be considered by IT shops.
This is far from a cheap date however, because protecting against State level attacks is anything but inexpensive. It starts out with an extremely high level of security certification, but it is backed by a significant effort to assure governments with nearly unlimited budgets can be blocked and that kind of effort isn’t cheap. This isn’t a small room of hackers but, as we have recently learned, the equivalence of a decent-sized company with all the operational employees working to breach a targeted diplomat or highly placed employee.
I expect this is partially why BlackBerry is saying they are seeing an upswing in BlackBerry phone sales. The level of risk is unprecedented and having a comprehensive secure platform goes beyond a security suite and into the device itself, and those devices appear to be surging at the moment based on what has been said on stage.
From mass shootings to cars used to run over pedestrians the risk for harm due to a terrorist or criminal attack seems to be increasing substantially. In addition, the increase in global warming is having a massive adverse impact on the weather, leading to an impressive number of wind, water, and temperature-based (for instance, forest fires) catastrophic events.
Being able to quickly parse which employees are at risk and need help from those that aren’t and don’t has never been more critical. BlackBerry AtHoc is a semi-automated tool to mass communicate with every employee and quickly determine if they are at risk as a result of a catastrophic event. This allows the HR department to quickly assess the risk and mobilize resources targeting just the people that most need the help.
The speed and effectiveness of this offering could make the difference between whether an employee, or group of employees, remains safe. Once pinged the employee enters a number into their cell phone to communicate if they are at risk, safe, and/or out of the area. The US State Department is one of the larger users of this application.
Keeping our intellectual property and our employees safe has never been more difficult, nor has it been more important. BlackBerry has two products that address these growing threats. These product are SecuSuite and AtHoc. Individually they are both unique and powerful, together they could make the difference between whether a company survives or not in the face of State level security threats and catastrophic weather events.
If you truly want to be safe it might be worthwhile to investigate both offerings’. AtHoc is very reasonably priced, SecuSuite is expensive. But with hostile States spending millions to breach companies, spending adequately to protect against the next breach attempt has likely never been easier to justify.