‫ BlackBerry pushes BBM Protected for end-to-end encrypted messaging

Date: 2014-04-08

According to “computerworld”, BlackBerry is promoting an upcoming end-to-end encrypted messaging service called BBM Protected for industries that need the highest levels of security. It will launch sometime in the summer.

BBM Protected was first announced in late February as part of the eBBM Suite, an upcoming family of products that works with BlackBerry's Messenger, its smartphones and Enterprise Server (BES) as well as BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 servers.

BlackBerry Protected and the entire eBBM Suite appear to be part of the company's strategy to hold onto its BES customers, many of which are in the government and securities sectors. Blackberry continues to face problems selling smartphones and attracting more customers to its BES 10 servers.

A company spokeswoman said Friday that BlackBerry has nearly 33,000 BES 10 commercial and test services installed globally.

White said BBM for consumers is now available for Android and iOS smartphones as well as BlackBerry. He said BBM Protected will be available first for BlackBerry phones, followed by iPhone and Android phones and eventually Windows Phones.

Jack Gold, an analyst at J. Gold Associates, said BlackBerry's move to open consumer-grade BBM to Android and iOS shows the company sees the need for a cross-platform approach. He said BBM Protected also needs to be available for non-BES shops to be successful.

The BBM Protected approach will allow workers to communicate over an automatically created end-to-end encrypted link with other workers as well as others outside of their organization.

Microsoft and Cisco both offer secure real-time messaging services, but "they are limited to communications inside an organization, unless you set up a complex federation of servers," White said. "This ability to communicate [securely] inside and outside is critical to a user."

Last December, BlackBerry said that BBM is used by 85% of BES-enabled organizations using BlackBerry smartphones. IT administrators in many regulated industries must keep records of messages sent and received by employees, and BBM allows IT shops to log, archive and audit all BBM text messages and access the metadata for BBM voice and video messages.


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