BlackBerry Says Voice Is Security's Final Frontier

1 - BlackBerry Says Voice Is Security's Final Frontier
2 - BlackBerry Security
3 - BlackBerry to Acquire Secusmart
4 - The Value of Security
5 - Less Canadian
6 - Nanthealth and the Passport
7 - RSA Authentication
8 - Gwava
9 - Qbit Fluid Mobility
10 - eBBM
11 - Secusmart Secure Calling
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BlackBerry Says Voice Is Security's Final Frontier

by Michelle Maisto

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BlackBerry Security

At a security event in New York City July 30, BlackBerry CEO John Chen said the company is focused on four regulated markets: government, health care, finance and energy. BlackBerry has no intention of turning its back on the consumer space, Chen clarified, but the enterprise is where it needs to "anchor" its business.

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BlackBerry to Acquire Secusmart

BlackBerry used the event to announce its planned acquisition of Secusmart, a German anti-eavesdropping company that BlackBerry has worked with since 2009. "We built, with BlackBerry, the very best, secure smartphone in the world, and we want to get it in to the hands of every president and chancellor," said Secusmart CEO Hans-Cristoph Quelle.

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The Value of Security

John Sims (center), BlackBerry's head of enterprise, said that the average data breach costs an average of $5.85 million. In the case of a breach like Target's, he added, "they're at hundreds of millions, and that's forgetting the reputational damage, which will take them maybe a decade to work their way out of." He emphasized that there aren't shortcuts or quick-fixes for serious security.

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Less Canadian

BlackBerry's new management includes a new head of marketing, Mark Wilson, whose touch was evident in the event signage, which spoke up (if just a bit) about BlackBerry's successes. "Sometimes we've been a little understated, in terms of, we do amazing work, but we have a bit of humility," Wilson told eWEEK. He added that each new team member was shocked to discover the extent of BlackBerry's capabilities. "Now it's about, how do you get the word out about all of these amazing assets … and how they fit together. There's an end-to-end story that's incredibly compelling and completely unique."

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Nanthealth and the Passport

Among the BlackBerry customers present at the event was Nanthealth, maker of a decision-support tool for oncologists. The software helps doctors understand the specific genes that have been altered, so they can tailor more specific treatment. Health care is a market BlackBerry expects will benefit from its upcoming Passport phone, which has a 4.5-inch square display with a resolution of 1,440 by 1,440 pixels.

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RSA Authentication

BlackBerry partner RSA has created a software-based version of its SecurID authentication solution—a more convenient alternative to its security tokens.

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For BB10, Gwava offers auditing and archiving software that can capture everything users are doing—across emails, Twitter, Facebook, messaging and more—in order to identify potential risk or litigation. It's used often by legal firms and in law enforcement but also businesses such as trucking companies, which want to check if their employees are texting and driving.

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Qbit Fluid Mobility

Qbit's Fluid Mobility app offers location-based solutions. That can mean blocking apps or capabilities when a user leaves the corporate campus, or instructing the phone to use a particular WiFi network, instead of cellular, when it's within the boundary of the campus.

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BlackBerry also showed off its eBBM secure messaging solution, which requires users to exchange a password in order to exchange highly secure, encrypted messages. A lawful access request from the U.S. government, for example, would have to be directed to the enterprise, not BlackBerry, said John Sims. "We have no way of accessing or deciphering that data," he said.

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Secusmart Secure Calling

BlackBerry's acquisition announcement worked to highlight voice as a security soft spot. The BlackBerry-Secusmart technology will eliminate the need for government officials to meet in person, find a secure landline or switch phones in order to use certain apps. "Today everything is IP. For every phone call you generate metadata," said Quelle. "Computers make transcriptions on the fly. You can be sure that these exist."

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