BlackBerry to Release Mobile Security Platform for the “Enterprise of Things”

BlackBerry Secure offers a variety of business-grade services and apps to ensure IoT security.

BlackBerry Workspaces is one of the new services that make up BlackBerry Secure. (Image courtesy of BlackBerry.)

BlackBerry Workspaces is one of the new services that make up BlackBerry Secure. (Image courtesy of BlackBerry.)

BlackBerry, former ruler of the smartphone kingdom, recently announced a software pivot to focus less on the smartphone and more on “the smart in the phone.” Now, it’s unveiled exactly what it means by “smart:” a mobile-native, business-centered security platform for what it’s calling the Enterprise of Things.

Securing the Enterprise of Things

For all its benefits, the Internet of Things (IoT) comes with some serious security concerns. For businesses, this could result in data theft or hacker disruption, meaning lost productivity and profit. When it comes to the so-called Enterprise of Things, there’s a problematic trade-off between IoT functionality and increased security risks.

BlackBerry’s new platform, BlackBerry Secure, will attempt to put this problem to rest. The cloud-enabled platform “addresses the entire enterprise from endpoint to endpoint” wrote Marty Beard, chief operating office at BlackBerry. He explains that the platform incorporates solutions from many of BlackBerry’s acquisitions into an integrated whole.

BlackBerry Secure provides IT administrators with unified endpoint management (UEM) across all of a business’s devices, users and operating systems, including Windows 10, macOS, iOS, Android for Work, BlackBerry 10 and Samsung KNOX. It also allows contractors and business partners to BYOT (bring your own thing), allowing secure access to corporate networks and data without a VPN. Furthermore, BlackBerry Secure aims to be futureproofed and built to be compatible with future applications and cloud systems, including Microsoft Office 365.

The platform is comprised of the following services:

  • BlackBerry UEM (formerly BES12): Provides control and visibility of all endpoints along with mobile device management controls and mobile application management capabilities
  • BlackBerry Dynamics(formerly Good Dynamics): Offers a development platform and container for mobile apps, while providing security at the app level
  • BlackBerry Workspaces(formerly WatchDox): Allows users to collaborate on files on any device with embedded digital right management protection
  • BlackBerry 2FA(formerly Strong Authentication): Provides two-factor authentication through user acknowledgement of a prompt on their secured mobile device
  • BlackBerry Enterprise Identity: Allows single sign-on into third-party cloud services, including Office 365, Dropbox and more. It also offers mobile zero sign-on, in which unlocking your phone grants access to services without needing a password
  • BlackBerry SDK: Enables app developers to integrate any of the above services into their apps via a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) model.

In addition to these services, BlackBerry will also release a set of business applications “tailored for the mobile-first office,” said Beard. These apps include BlackBerry Work, to provide email, calendar, document collaboration, etc.; BlackBerry Access, to enable secure mobile access to Web apps and intranet resources; BlackBerry Connect, to allow secure, real-time collaboration across devices; and a few more, all set to be released in January 2017. The apps will cap off the rollout of the BlackBerry Secure services over the next few weeks.

The New BlackBerry

Earlier this year, we saw a massive distributed denial-of-service attack that revealed how easily consumer IoT devices can be compromised. This kind of vulnerability is unacceptable in the enterprise world, which is why companies like Microsoft were quick to respond to the attack.

In the wake of this security uncertainty, BlackBerry really wants you to know how trustworthy it is.It’s quick to point out a stellar appraisal by Gartner in a report titled “Critical Capabilities for High-Security Mobility Management.” Compared to 18 other software providers, BlackBerry received the highest score in all six security use cases covered by the report.

Regardless of whether or not your company might benefit from BlackBerry Secure, it will definitely benefit by taking a page out of BlackBerry’s notebook: Security is a top priority. In fact, it may even be the top priority in the design of any IoT system. To put it bluntly, if users (whether consumer, enterprise or industrial) can’t trust your product, they won’t buy it.

Not sure where to start? Check out “Infographic: History of IIoT Cyber-Attacks and How to Avoid Them.”

Written by

Michael Alba

Michael is a senior editor at He covers computer hardware, design software, electronics, and more. Michael holds a degree in Engineering Physics from the University of Alberta.