HANNOVER, Germany—Security is always an important part of the CeBIT technology trade show here, but this year, new concerns are on the rise for businesses in Europe and beyond.
Adding to those concerns are the continuing disclosures of classified documents describing U.S. cyber-surveillance activities by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.
Also of concern are efforts by the U.S. Justice Department to gain access to data on a Microsoft server based in Europe containing email created by a European Union citizen. A Microsoft spokesperson told media attendees of the CeBIT preview that a new data center being built in Germany will not be accessible from the United States.
These developments and threats from around the world are making EU businesses and citizens more conscious about the need for stronger data security.
In fact, most of the security announcements at the CeBIT 2016 Press Preview address concerns that were only beginning to bubble to the surface a year ago when eWEEK was last here. The press preview highlighted the companies and technologies that will be on display March 14-18 at what is billed as the world's biggest technology trade show.
Three prominent examples of that include support for new, non-BlackBerry mobile platforms from BlackBerry security technology subsidiary Secusmart, several major new security products for the Internet of things from EuroTech and new standards for payments from Six Group, the company that runs the Swiss stock exchange. In fact, companies from Switzerland, long a leader in security because of the nation's critical role in banking, were prominent this year.
BlackBerry is demonstrating that it's moving beyond support for its own legacy mobile devices with an announcement from its Secusmart subsidiary that the highly regarded SecuSuite for Enterprise will bring the encryption capabilities of the Secusmart chip to Android and iOS mobile operating systems in addition to devices running BlackBerry OS.
The Secusmart enterprise software supports secure, encrypted voice calling along with secure text messaging. BlackBerry acquired Secusmart in September 2014 to bolster the security capabilities of the company's BlackBerry mobile handsets.
The Secusmart software is the same as the software on the Secusmart chip, which is approved by NATO for handling classified information. While the software isn't approved for the transmission of classified information (because it's software), it should be as secure as the solution that German Chancellor Angela Merkel used to keep the world's spy agencies out of her phone.
"With SecuSuite for Enterprise, Secusmart has unveiled the very first BlackBerry service that can truly be used worldwide and with absolutely any network operator. At CeBIT, we will be presenting a treasure chest full of security solutions," Dr. Christoph Erdmann, CEO of Secusmart, told eWEEK.
Erdmann demonstrated the iOS version of its secure software to eWEEK at the press preview. He noted that the new software should remain compatible with other secure voice products such as the recently announced Vodafone Secure Call app.