UK gov department loses 83 BlackBerrys


UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills Loses 83 BlackBerry Devices, as BlackBerry looks to extend BlackBerry security capabilities to iOS and Android

A Freedom of Information Request has revealed that the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has lost 83 BlackBerry devices and 17 laptops over the last three years.

The Department also recorded 16 incidents of BIS issued mobile phones being lost or stolen as well as one personal laptop and one personal BlackBerry going missing.

'The explosion of mobile devices in the last few years has improved working collaboration and productivity, but also created new risks for the private and public sector,' commented Tyler Shields, senior security researcher at Veracode, provider of cloud-based app intelligence and security verification services.

'It's critical for the government to not only secure these devices with mobile location and remote lock and wipe technology, but also secure the apps that reside on them.

'A phone or tablet does not have to go lost or stolen to be at risk, and ensuring the security of mobile applications is equally critical to protecting against an ever increasing threat profile to governments and businesses alike,' Shields concluded.

To help increase security of not only its devices, but also those on other platforms, BlackBerry stated this week that it will soon launch Secure Work Space for iOS and Android, which will be managed through BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10, BlackBerry's multi-platform enterprise mobility management solution.

Noted Robert Enderle, principal analyst, Enderle Group: 'The vast majority of smartphones on the market aren't adequately secure for corporate or government work. Currently BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 combined with BlackBerry Balance or Secure Work Space has the only volume solution which has been designed from the ground up to provide the security most IT departments require. 

An update for BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 will soon extend BlackBerry security capabilities for data-at-rest and data-in-transit and provide complete separation between work and personal data. The BlackBerry Secure Work Space solution includes secured client applications for email, calendar, contacts, tasks, memos, secure browsing and document editing for each device that is provisioned via BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10.

Enderle added: 'With this announcement BlackBerry is expanding beyond its own top to bottom approach to security to address this need on other platforms. With this product BlackBerry is showcasing their security legacy by providing a stronger cross platform security solution than anyone else can in the market.'  'With BlackBerry Balance technology, we offer the industry's only true compromise-free separation of work and personal data and applications,' said David J Smith, EVP, enterprise mobile computing. 'With Secure Work Space for iOS and Android devices, we're extending as many of these features as possible to other platforms, critical in today's BYOD world.'

Closed beta testing for Secure Work Space has already started and general availability will be offered by the end of the second quarter 2013. More details will be announced at the BlackBerry Live conference in May in Orlando, Florida.


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