BlackBerry: There's life in the old dog yet


The U.S. Department of Defense announced plans to allow agency officials to use BlackBerry software to manage Apple- and Android-powered devices across its network. The smartphone maker launched a proprietary software package, Secure Work Space, in 2013 to stay competitive in the mobile industry, once again strengthening itself as a secure mobile provider. The company's willingness to play nice with other devices no doubt helped seal the deal with the DoD.

That's not the only thing BlackBerry has been up to lately. Following the recent acquisition of German voice encryption provider Secusmart, the German government said BlackBerry was the only mobile device provider that meets its stringent security needs. Germany's Federal Ministry of Interior currently uses about 3,000 encrypted BlackBerry devices within its agency and plans to add more in the coming months. 

Smartphones are as ubiquitous in federal sectors as they are in any other industry, but the data they transmit is, of course, far more sensitive than the average Silicon Valley startup. Federal agencies need a device that's up to the task. 

"The emerging trend of high-security, encrypted devices is a byproduct of a meteoric rise in smart-device offerings, ubiquitous connectivity and near-inescapable surveillance," notes Amber Corrin at Federal Times. "The resulting interest in options for untraceable on-the-go communications is compounded at least two other factors: a global threat landscape that, according to top intelligence officials, is more complex than ever, and revelations of just how far governments can go in tracking their subjects."

It's no wonder government agencies eschew the latest and greatest smartphones in favor of workhorses like BlackBerry with a proven history of tight layers of security. Still and yet, BlackBerry takes a regular beating in the stock market and continues to be the punchline of lots of jokes. Pundits regularly ponder and predict the company's demise, but clearly BlackBerry isn't going down without a fight.

For more:
- read the article about the DoD decision
- read an article about BlackBerry's purchase of Secusmart

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