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BlackBerry Unveils New Enterprise Security, Mobility Solutions

Smartphone maker BlackBerry announced several new offerings targeted to its enterprise customers this week, in order to help organizations securely connect employees and help them access the corporate information and systems required to get their jobs done.

The solutions include two identity and access solutions, along with a new enterprise mobility management (EMM) solution that supports cloud or on-premise deployments of iOS, Android, Windows Phone and BlackBerry devices.

The new identity and access solutions, Enterprise Identity by BlackBerry and VPN Authentication by BlackBerry, will help enterprise workers be more productive without compromising security or cost effectiveness, the company said. The offerings complement BlackBerry’s latest cross-platform EMM solution, BES12, which brings together mobile devices, apps, cloud services and mobile operator services.

BlackBerry Enterprise ProductsThrough its BlackBerry messaging service (BBM) and core BlackBerry service, the mobile device manufacturer already operates one of the largest global identity management services, managing more than 200 million identities and processing more than 120 million identity transactions daily.

“Enterprise Identity by BlackBerry will provide organizations a simple way to manage cloud-based services with a single point of entitlement, control and audit for all cloud services, including Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and internal applications,” BlackBerry explained. “It will also make it easy for employees to access all their enterprise cloud applications by allowing them to use just one set of familiar network credentials.”

BlackBerry’s VPN Authentication solution securely connect mobile employees to their organization's network from anywhere in the world and allows employees to use their iOS, Android or BlackBerry smartphone for two factor authentication.

According to BlackBerry, benefits of its Enterprise Identity solution will include:

Single point of control: Provides control over and management of access to a wide range of services, offering policies for entitlement and authentication. The solution helps achieve compliance, offering reporting and auditing across cloud services. With the BlackBerry Identity Proxy, enterprises can securely take advantage of the power of an existing on-premise directory without copying or syncing sensitive corporate data to the cloud.

One person, identity and sign on: An employee has one sign on for all their enterprise applications, eliminating the need for the employee to manage and recall many usernames and passwords. This improves the user experience, giving employees more seamless access to their business and productivity applications, and reducing calls to IT for password resets.

Easy to deploy: A turn-key solution that BlackBerry claims is easy to deploy, Enterprise Identity by BlackBerry does not require significant investment for integration. The solution is standards-based and offers several pre-federated cloud services.

BlackBerry says its VPN Authentication solution will include:

Reduce cost and hassle: VPN Authentication by BlackBerry reduces overall IT hardware and support costs and works with managed iPhone, Android and BlackBerry devices, including those that have already been deployed. By eliminating support required for synchronization problems and PIN resets through the helpdesk, the solution helps reduce support costs and time wasted by employees.

Secure and scalable: With Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) authentication and an on-premises server, VPN Authentication by BlackBerry keeps security high when moving away from traditional hardware tokens. And with Active Directory integration, IT can quickly deploy and control VPN access and configuration of user profiles.

Flexible authentication options: The solution can be customized to an organization's policies and requirements, with tailored authentication methods for different user groups. Get two-factor authentication by choosing device or Active Directory credentials as the first factor, while one-click acceptance on the smartphone acts as the second factor.

BlackBerry also this week announced a strategic partnership with Samsung to provide a secure mobility solution for Android. According to BlackBerry, early next year, enterprise customers will be able to purchase a tightly integrated, end-to-end secure solution that brings together BES12 with Samsung Galaxy smartphones and tablets that are embedded with Samsung KNOX.

VPN Authentication by BlackBerry will be available for iOS and Android devices with BES12 and available for BlackBerry devices with BES5, BES10 or BES12. VPN Authentication by BlackBerry has no upfront or perpetual license costs, and will start at $3 USD per user, per month (billed on an annual basis), BlackBerry said.

Enterprise Identity by BlackBerry and VPN Authentication by BlackBerry is scheduled to be available by the end of 2014.

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For more than 10 years, Mike Lennon has been closely monitoring the threat landscape and analyzing trends in the National Security and enterprise cybersecurity space. In his role at SecurityWeek, he oversees the editorial direction of the publication and is the Director of several leading security industry conferences around the world.