BlackBerry's security strategies revealed

Because the tablet requires a linked Bluetooth session with a parent BlackBerry, if the tablet goes missing for any reason, there is no loss of data, as the data is held on the BlackBerry smartphone.

The aim of this strategy, he told an audience at the Counter Terror Expo in London this week, is to protect a users' data using 256-bit AES encryption.

On the BlackBerry, he told his audience, data is protected using military grade encryption, with each packet encrypted individually.

"Not many people are aware of the security on a BlackBerry smartphone, which includes native PGP support, or native S/MIME support for users not happy about paying for the facility. You can even use a Transcoder API if you're one of the rare breed of company users that wants use your own customised encryption", he said.

And, he told his audience, the principle behind the user with certification on a BlackBerry is "do not trust me".

"In other words, the mobile says: `you can trust me, but, but you will need to verify me", he explained, adding that this is the key difference between the BlackBerry and their smartphone platforms.

So why all the security on mobile phones? Isn't this overkill?

No, he says, adding that the GSM standard - which was created in the 1960s with a planned lifetime of 10 years - is now more than 25 years old in terms of technology.

Police and military users of BlackBerry, now have access to secure push-to-talk (PTT) facilities on their smartphone. The reason for choosing PTT, he says, is to support closer integration with existing PTT systems.

The net result of this, says Heinen, is that a growing number of police forces now use BlackBerry smartphones for secure communications in the field - "around one in six policemen and women use the technology", he noted.

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