Fresh off its Cylance acquisition, vendor rolls out new services to lock down connected devices
BlackBerry is launching three new feature packs that bring some common-sense security practices to the often undisciplined environment of the Internet of Things.
The Lowdown: The feature packs are designed to give IoT device manufacturers and application developers access to trusted software and a proven security framework that can be applied at various stages of the product lifecycle.
The Details: As part of the new services, BlackBerry cybersecurity experts will review devices produced by participating organizations and deem them “BlackBerry Secure,” a kind of UL-like symbol of data security and trust.
BalckBerry is also offering three feature packs including:
BlackBerry Secure Enablement, which creates a hardware Root of Trust by injecting a BB Secure Identity Service Key into a device during manufacture, then monitoring it over time to ensure its integrity.
BlackBerry Secure Foundations, which leverages Secure Boot and ARM Trustzone technology to improve the security of software running on IoT-connected devices.
BlackBerry Secure Enterprise for granular policies and management of devices destined for use in highly regulated or restricted environments.
The Impact: Members of the BlackBerry Enterprise Partner Program for Solution Providers can add these feature packs to to the roster of BB software and mobile device management offerings they deliver to clients, particularly those in the manufacturing vertical space.
Background: Always known for the security of its eponymous smartphones of yore, BlackBerry has been making noise in the enterprise security space of late.
In November, the company announced the acquisition of AI-focused security vendor Cylance for $1.4 billion. The purchase promised to shore up BlackBerry’s security and IoT fare, as well as complement existing offerings such as its Unified Endpoint Management and QNX embedded OS.
The Buzz: “2019 will be the year consumers will begin to vote with their wallets and seek out products that promise a higher level of security and data privacy,” said Alex Thurber, senior vice president and general manager of mobility solutions at BlackBerry. “IoT device manufacturers can address security and privacy concerns head-on and stand out in the cluttered IoT space by bringing to market ultra-secure products that consumers, retailers, and enterprises want to buy and use.
“This new service is a pivotal point in the company’s software licensing strategy,” Thurber said. “And it underscores BlackBerry’s evolution from providing the most secure smartphones to delivering the trusted security for all smart ‘things.’”
Channelnomics Point of View: IoT device and service makers haven’t covered themselves in glory in the rush to deliver connected products in a white-hot and time-sensitive marketplace. Their penchant for security stumbling blocks such as hard-coded passwords and their resistance to patching and updating have made many IoT products more liability than asset. End users weary of the security lapses could dampen the financial opportunity in what has been a tech industry bonanza estimated to be worth close to half a trillion dollars by 2020.
The BlackBerry frameworks and feature packs bring much needed security maturity and oversight to a development and manufacturing space that has been operating far too fast and loose for too long.