BlackBerry Secure Work Space for iOS, Android Gets FIPS-Certified

BlackBerry's Android-supporting solution is now secure enough for the White House. (Oops.) In other security news: BlackBerry suffered a break-in.

BlackBerry's Secure Work Space for iOS and Android has received Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) 140-2 certification.

Secure Work Space is a containerization solution for supporting multiple mobile platforms that is managed through BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 (BES10). It ensures that data is protected—on the device and while in transit—even on employee-owned smartphones and tablets. IT administrations can configure, secure, wipe and interact with content only within the Secure Work Space.

The FIPS 140-2 certification makes the BlackBerry solution secure enough for use by even the most security-focused organizations, including the U.S. and Canadian governments, BlackBerry said in a March 26 statement.

The White House, and the team responsible for President Obama's communications, have been testing solutions from Samsung and other vendors, giving rise to talk that BlackBerry's highest-profile user could some day follow the mass trend and make the switch to Android.

BlackBerry told eWEEK in a March 21 statement, "Governments test new technologies frequently, but nonetheless the U.S. government continues to choose BlackBerry for its unmatched security and cost effectiveness."

BlackBerry CEO John Chen recently visited the White House. While the media framed the visit as Chen doing his best to ensure his highest-profile customer remains a customer, Chen characterized the visit, during a Bloomberg Television interview, as a "customer outreach" effort, adding that White House officials "were nice enough to share some of their thoughts with me."

President Obama is the first U.S. president to carry a smartphone—a specially equipped BlackBerry unit that in the early days of his presidency was dubbed the "BarackBerry."

When Curiosity Turns Criminal

In other BlackBerry security news, someone has gotten hold of secret product news, and CEO Chen is fighting mad.

"One of the most frustrating things for all of us at BlackBerry is when a critical and confidential project is reported in the media before we are ready to discuss it," Chen said in a March 26 blog post. "Leaks are, at their best, distracting, and at their worst downright misleading to our stakeholders. The business implications of a leak are seldom advantageous."

Chen went on to explain that someone "falsely posed as an employee of one of our carrier partners," obtained access to secured networks, got hold of confidential information about a future BlackBerry product and made that news public.

The company is now pursing legal action (which isn't its first legal effort since Chen became CEO), just as it will always go after folks, within or outside the company, who leak information.

The result may be fewer reports of leaked BlackBerry images or data, said Chen. "But rest assured that we're committed to communicating our biggest updates to you early and often—when they are ready to be shared."

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