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BlackBerry to Release New Android Smartphone for Enterprise Security

BlackBerry to Release New Android Smartphone for Enterprise Security

With the right mix of features, “Priv” could be a huge success in the business world

September 25, 2015

When it comes to mobile security, modern users are learning to be smart and take fewer chances. And for good reason – studies show that mobile malware is a rapidly growing concern in today’s increasingly connected world.

Of course, nowhere is mobile security a bigger concern than in the business world, where enterprises are struggling to address enterprise security on a day-to-day basis. From increasingly devious cyberattacks (e.g. 2015’s Anthem data breach and 2014’s Backoff virus) to the widespread problem offaulty enterprise security as companies implement new technologies, there are many ways in which organizations can find themselves at risk.

Enter: a new breed of smartphone that’s designed to address these concerns and thus become the new face of enterprise security. At least, that’s what BlackBerry and Android – the duo behind this new device – are trying to accomplish.

According to BlackBerry CEO John Chen, the device’s main goal will be to protect user privacy. He described it as a combination of “the best of BlackBerry security and productivity with the expansive mobile application ecosystem available on the Android platform.”*

Their new device, aptly named “Priv,” will be released later this year and hopefully change the tide for once-mighty BlackBerry.

A New Start for BlackBerry?

Since 2007, BlackBerry has been in slow decline, with shipments decreased by more than 90 percent.* For almost the past decade, Apple and Google have maintained their dominance in the smartphone industry.

However, studies show that BlackBerry has managed to hold onto its reputation when it comes to one thing – security.

To the struggling smartphone company, this was a glimmer of hope and the main driving force behind Priv. A truly secure smartphone with a modern UI (user interface) and lots of apps would certainly fill a void in today’s growing smartphone industry.

For now, few details are available concerning Priv or any of its inner workings. But that hasn’t stopped experts from speculating – according to NetworkWorld’s Steven Patterson, Priv needs the right mix of features to succeed, including:*

  • A strong circle of trust, meaning that the source of hardware and software for the product, as well as its assembly and delivery teams, can be verified.
  • End-to-end certification under FIPS 140-2, a comprehensive security standard that BlackBerry possesses for iOS and Android, thanks to its recent acquisition of Good Technology.
  • Fully-implemented Android SE-Linux branded into the Priv device, which (according to Patterson) would allow BlackBerry to make its own distribution of Android and deliver its branded security with SE-Linux security.

With all these features aligned, Priv could carve out a popular niche in the smartphone world and make a huge difference for businesses struggling with enterprise security – and may even bring new life to BlackBerry as well.

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* Patterson, Steven Max. With an Android smartphone, BlackBerry can target users who value security over all else, NetworkWorld. Network World, Inc.