Security Experts:

BlackBerry's Secure Work Space for iOS and Android Gets FIPS 140-2 Certification

While BlackBerry may be struggling in the increasingly competitive smartphone market, the device maker has long had a reputation for robust security in its devices and communications platform.

Today the Canadian firm announced that its Secure Work Space for iOS and Android has been Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 140-2 certified. 

Secure Work Space is a multi-platform containerization solution managed through BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 (BES10), and is the smartphone maker’s first Enterprise Mobility Management solution that provides device management, security and App management for BlackBerry, iOS and Android devices.

BlackBerry Secure Work SpaceUnder certain regulations, U.S. federal agencies must use FIPS-140 certified systems in order to meet security requirements to protect sensitive information in computer, telecommunication systems and other IT-related products.

The certification will allow security-conscious organizations to confidently deploy Secure Work Space to securely separate sensitive corporate data from personal content, BlackBerry said.

"Organizations, in both the public and private sectors, must take the necessary steps to protect sensitive data and ensure that their mobile solutions offer the highest level of security," said Ben Hoffman, mobility analyst at IDC. "FIPS 140-2 certification indicates that BlackBerry is meeting the strict security requirements that many enterprise customers require."

With Secure Work Space, BES10 protocols for data-at-rest and data-in-transit are extended to iOS and Android devices, including smartphones and tablets, BlackBerry said.

Secure Work Space and BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 give administrators the ability to configure, secure, wipe and interact within the Secure Work Space on a device, while letting employees use the device for personal use—essentially separating work from play.

"The FIPS 140-2 validation for Secure Work Space for iOS and Android demonstrates the multi-platform security capabilities that BlackBerry delivers for customers, helping governments and enterprises alike to deploy third-party devices with more confidence and less risk," said Scott Totzke, Senior Vice President, Security Group at BlackBerry.

FIPS 140-2 validation is also supported by national agencies in Canada and is recognized in Europe and Australia.

A full list of validated FIPS 140-1 and FIPS 140-2 Cryptographic Modules from NIST can be seen online

In addition to FIPS certification, BlackBerry products have continuously passed security assessments from a variety of independent organizations around the world, the company reminded.

For example, BlackBerry 10 smartphones are approved by NATO for use in classified communications up to the level of "Restricted." The smartphone maker was also the first MDM vendor to achieve "Authority to Operate" on the U.S. Department of Defense's secure networks, the company said.

Earlier this year, BlackBerry announced its plans to open a security innovation center in the Washington, D.C. area that would serve as a hub for collaboration with key government customers and other expert partners.

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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.