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BlackBerry Provides Enterprise-Grade Secure Messaging

By - Source: Toms IT Pro

Back in February during Mobile World Congress, BlackBerry Limited revealed a new family of BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) products and services built for enterprise customers called the eBBM suite. Now the company is introducing an enterprise-class messaging app called BBM Protected that's part of that eBBM suite. Read: Mobile Device Management: Vendor & Comparison Guide

According to the company, BBM Protected is the first product in the eBBM family, and is being launched earlier than originally planned. BBM Protected is the only chat client that uses the FIPS 140-2 validated cryptographic library, allowing colleagues to use the governmental cryptography standard to communicate inside the workplace to securely exchange instant messages and confidential enterprise data worry-free.

The company reports that this same app can also be used outside the company to communicate with friends and family. BBM Protected users can even communicate with individuals in other companies without the need to be on the same BES server. There's also no need for federation between servers.

BlackBerry's product page shows that messages between BBM Protected clients are encrypted using a model similar to PGP: both the sender and recipient have unique public and private encryption and signing keys. These keys are generated on the device by the FIPS 140-2 library and controlled by the enterprise. Each message uses a new random symmetric key.

"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," the product page reads. "TLS encryption between the smartphone and the BBM infrastructure helps protect BBM messages from eavesdropping or manipulation."

Currently BBM Protected can only be used on BBOS 6.0 or later, or on BlackBerry 10 in regulated mode. Later this year the company will introduce a version for BlackBerry smartphones using BlackBerry Balance, and versions for iOS and Android devices.

For more information about BBM Protected, visit blackberry.com.

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