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Blackberry combines IoT and security in enterprise platform

Steve Rogerson
December 15, 2016
 
Blackberry’s journey from being a mobile phone company to concentrating on security software and services has continued with the unveiling of an enterprise platform that combines its IoT and security offerings.
 
The Canadian company’s platform is designed to be the foundation that drives the company's ongoing move to software, is cloud enabled and addresses the entire enterprise from endpoint to endpoint. This platform completes the integration of the company's prior acquisitions of technologies such as Good Technology, WatchDox, AtHoc and Encription.
 
Data breaches and cyber-security threats are some of the biggest roadblocks to realising the potential of enterprise IoT, which Blackberry defines as the network of intelligent connections and endpoints within the enterprise that enable products to move from sketch to scale. It is a collection of devices, computers, sensors, trackers, equipment and other things that communicate with each other to enable smart product development, distribution, marketing and sales.
 
"Businesses must be able to confidentially and reliably transmit sensitive data between endpoints to keep people, information and goods safe," said John Chen, chief executive officer 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."
 
Called Blackberry Secure, the platform is grounded in the company's mobile software security. It helps companies manage and secure their mobile devices and connected things and secures communications for all messaging and file types with the goal of opening up markets for the company where multiple endpoint mobile security management and applications are critical.
 
For example, the platform helps to prevent hackers from penetrating devices and computers, provide intelligence for highly 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 like 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."
 
In addition to more than 80 security certifications, Blackberry recently ranked the highest in all six use cases of Gartner's “Critical Capabilities for High-Security Mobility Management” report. The company's heritage in security has led to the following products that meet security and regulatory requirements, accelerate business processes and reduce total cost of ownership:

  • Blackberry UEM (formerly BES12): Provides the granular control and visibility that IT needs to secure all endpoints, along with the flexibility to support a wide array of productivity and other business use cases. It supports all major OS platforms – Android for Work, Samsung Knox, iOS, Windows 10, OS X and Blackberry 10 – and device ownership models with a single console. It also supports native MDM controls for managing device policies and MAM capabilities for deploying approved business apps.
  • Blackberry Dynamics (formerly Good Dynamics): Delivers a foundation for secure enterprise mobility by offering a mature development platform and container for mobile apps. It is designed to eliminate the risk of data leakage by delivering proven security at the app level. It is also flexible enough to support a vast and ever-changing set of apps, workflows and business processes.
  • Blackberry Workspaces (formerly WatchDox): Enables users to share, edit and control their files on every device with a high level of security due to embedded digital rights management protection in the files.
  • Blackberry 2FA (formerly Strong Authentication): Allows users to replace the cost and hassle of a physical token and typing in codes with the simplicity of acknowledging a prompt on their secured mobile device for two-factor authentication.
  • Blackberry Enterprise Identity: Enables users to single sign-on into third-party cloud services such as Office 365, Box, Dropbox, Workday and Salesforce. There is also mobile zero sign-on, where unlocking the phone grants transparent access to services without requiring a password.
  • Blackberry SDK: Allows application developers to integrate any Blackberry service – such as UEM, Workspaces and Dynamics – into their applications via a platform-as-a-service model.
As part of the platform, the company is launching a portfolio of business-class applications designed for the mobile-first work environment. Available in January, the apps below are said to be simple for IT to deploy and provide a seamless experience across smartphones, tablets and PCs:
  • Blackberry Work (formerly Good Work): Offers a secure, intuitive and integrated collaboration experience. It combines email, calendar, contacts, presence, document access, document editing and more, allowing organisations to mobilise their workforce effectively.
  • Blackberry Access (formerly Good Access): Gives organisations the ability to enable mobile access confidently to a broad range of web apps and intranet resources containing sensitive information.
  • Blackberry Connect (formerly Good Connect): Accelerates decision-making by allowing employees to connect and collaborate securely in real time on their choice of mobile device.
  • Blackberry Share (formerly Good Share): Allows employees to share documents and other content safely while on the go, on any device.
  • Blackberry Tasks (formerly Good Tasks): Provides the ability to create, open and prioritise tasks synchronised with Microsoft Exchange securely.
  • BlackBerry Notes: Enables users to stay on top of business workflows by creating, editing and maintaining a tile-view list of notes.
BlackBerry's enterprise app and channel ecosystem continues to grow with an expanding roster of partners such as Zimperium, Polaris, Swyft, Acronis and ISEC7.