HANNOVER, Germany — The new BlackBerry 10 smartphone, which has already been released in Europe, is the only wireless platform secure enough to meet NATO requirements, while also retaining its ability to function as a smartphone connected to the Web.
German security company SecuSmart launched a new Micro SD-based encryption engine that takes advantage of BlackBerry's new Balance feature, which allows the creation of a wall between two functions of the BlackBerry, allowing one part to be strictly for business, and the other for personal use.
The SecuSmart security suite allows users to have access to their personal email, social networks and apps, while also maintaining a secure environment for protected apps and communications. The process allows easy switching between the two parts of the BlackBerry, with access to the secure side available only when the SecuSmart SD card is installed. "If you remove the card, the secure part of BlackBerry Balance simply goes away," a spokesman told eWEEK.
"It's easy to make a phone secure," the spokesman said, "but it's hard to make a secure phone smart." He said that the only wireless device that makes that possible is the BlackBerry 10 device. The SecuSuite for the BlackBerry 10 includes encryption for email, secure encrypted voice and secure Internet use.
The SecuSmart software is able to detect when it's communicating with another SecuSmart BlackBerry 10 and to automatically switch to encrypted communications. The device will also allow users to make nonsecure calls to phones without the SecuSmart software.
"Security has always been built into the heart of the BlackBerry solution," said Scott Totzke, senior vice president of the BlackBerry Security Group, in a prepared statement. "Nothing is more secure than a BlackBerry smartphone connected to BlackBerry Enterprise Server 10."
BlackBerry 10 and BlackBerry Balance bring a "breakthrough platform that combines state-of-the-art security with a powerful new mobile computing experience," Totzke continued. " The SecuSuite for BlackBerry 10 solution brings together an unprecedented combination of voice and data security, usability and cost-effectiveness for government organizations that work with highly sensitive information."
However, SecuSmart is not limiting sales to government organizations. The SecuSmart spokesman said that the secure BlackBerry will be available to anyone, including corporate users. The company expects broad acceptance in industries where security is highly important, including financial services, technology and pharmaceuticals. The SecuSmart BlackBerry devices will also be offered to government agencies in the United States and elsewhere, "except maybe to Syria and North Korea," the spokesman said.
The SecuSmart-equipped BlackBerry is sold as a unit by SecuSmart with the encryption card already installed. Currently the price is 2,400 euros, or about $3,132 (U.S.). The devices will be available in the United States in March 2013 along with the arrival of the BlackBerry Z10 for AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless.