Product and service reviews are conducted independently by our editorial team, but we sometimes make money when you click on links. Learn more.

BlackBerry OS 7 Earns High-Level Security Certification

By - Source: Toms IT Pro

RIM's mobile device platform earns highest-level Common Criteria accreditation.

RIM’s adds highest-level Common Criteria accreditation for BlackBerry OS 7 to its rather-full security cap.

A number of questions remain regarding Google's market leading Android and Apple's iOS operating systems when it comes to security and the enterprise. Not so for Research In Motion’s (RIM) BlackBerry platform. Despite hemorrhaging of customers to competitors and a three-day service outage last month—the longest in RIM  history—BlackBerry still sets the standard when it comes to mobile device management and security for many IT pros.

In fact, you would be hard pressed to name another platform (mobile or otherwise) with as many third-party security certifications. Most recently, a number of BlackBerry smartphones running the latest BlackBerry OS (version 7) underwent independent security testing for Common Criteria evaluation. The Common Criteria Recognition Arrangement is an international standard supported by 26 countries to determine if products meet specific security requirements.

The BlackBerry models in question (e.g. the BlackBerry Bold 9900, Torch 9810, BlackBerry Torch 9860 and Curve 9360) earned Common Criteria's highest accreditation, EAL4+, which covers  product design, software development methodology and security mechanisms. RIM's BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) previously earned the EAL4+ award as well. 

BES, the behind-the-firewall mobile device management and email platform, is also certified by NATO as well numerous other U.S. and international agencies and organizations. See here for a comprehensive list of BlackBerry security accreditations and certifications.

RIM expects additional BlackBerry OS 7 models will earn the EAL4+ certification early next year. Those smartphones should include the BlackBerry Bold 9930, Torch 9850, Curve 9350, Curve 9370 and Porsche Design P’9981 Smartphone from BlackBerry.

In October, RIM introduced its next-generation BlackBerry OS, called BBX. The OS is a combination of the BlackBerry OS and RIM’s QNX platform, which powers RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook tablet.

RIM intends to release a beta of BBX before the end of the year. According to the company, BBX will deliver a new user interface, improved web browsing, Cloud integration, and the ability to run native, HTML5, Android and Adobe Flash and AIR applications.

Speaking of applications, in an attempt to make up for October’s outage, RIM gave its 70-million customers around the world each about $100 worth of free apps from the BlackBerry App World. The offer, which is good until the end of 2011,  only includes apps handpicked by RIM.

James Alan MillerJames Alan MillerJames Alan Miller is Managing Editor of Tom's IT Pro. He is a veteran technology journalist with over seventeen years of experience creating and developing magazine and online content. Founding editor of numerous business and enterprise computing sites at the network, James headed up the After Hours section at PC Magazine, as well as hardware and software sections of various Windows publications.