Despite the fact that Android and iOS have made good advancements in the mobile zone over the past few years pushing BlackBerry out of the scene, it has made quite an influential comeback considering the struggles with the fading popularity.
The BBM Protected, essentially an enhanced security model for BBM messages sent between BlackBerry smartphones, protects corporate data in-transit by adding an additional layer of encryption to BBM. The product is aimed at its base of government, insurance and banking customers and is the first piece of its eBBM suite (where e stands for Enterprise).
Designed to provide full end-to-end message encryption from the time a BBM Protected user sends a message to when the recipient receives the message, the BBM Protected incorporates three layers of security by making use of the PGP like model for encrypting messages between BBM Protected users.
The sender and recipient have unique encryption and signing keys which are generated on the device by the FIPS 140-2 certified cryptographic library, and are controlled by the enterprise. A Triple DES 168-bit BBM scrambling key encrypts messages on the sender’s smartphone, and is used to authenticate and decrypt messages on the recipient’s phone.
This kind of protection is pretty hi-tech, making it very difficult for anyone to decode an entire conversation. Further to this, the service ensures user privacy as at no time, the keys are stored within the BlackBerry infrastructure as BBM and BlackBerry are not involved in brokering the key exchanges.
Moreover, BBM Protected allows users to communicate securely with colleagues and chat with friends and family from the same app. It also allows flexibility of chat protection between BlackBerry users on different enterprise services.
All BlackBerry phones running BBOS 6.0 or later as well as handsets running BlackBerry 10 in Regulated mode have access to the BBM Protected. We can expect versions tailored for Android and iOS — as well as one for BlackBerry 10 using BlackBerry Balance — to arrive later this year.
This sure should be some good boost for the company’s fate, as the BlackBerry security model is trusted by security conscious organizations around the world. The secure root of trust starts in hardware and extends up through software and application layers helping to protect BBM messages at all times when they are at rest on the device.