At Mobile World Congress, we announced the eBBM Suite, a new family of BBM products and services that marries the core strengths of BBM with new capabilities aimed at enterprise customers. This will enable mobile workers to be more productive on the go, while meeting enterprises’ needs for security, manageability and control.
We couldn’t be more excited to announce that the first product in the eBBM Suite, BBM Protected, is being delivered ahead of schedule today!
To help you understand just how incredibly innovative BBM Protected is, and why our enterprise customers will love it, I’m tackling the 5 Ws of BBM Protected.
What is BBM Protected?
BBM Protected is a new service that allows enterprise users to take advantage of the speed, reliability and privacy of BBM for faster communication, collaboration and decision making while providing security-conscious organizations the enhanced security benefits of an on premise solution coupled with the convenience benefits of a cloud solution. BBM Protected offers an enhanced security model for BBM messages sent between BlackBerry smartphones that protects corporate data end to end with additional encryption.
Who is BBM Protected for?
BBM Protected has been designed for organizations with the need to protect corporate data at rest and in transit. These could be customers in regulated industries like financial services or government as well as highly security conscious organizations like law firms, or healthcare providers. Security-conscious organizations are caught between a rock and a hard place today when it comes to secure IM. Many consumer IM apps don’t meet the security needs of IT while the enterprise IM apps deployed by IT leave end users seeking more utility and a better mobile experience. No secure IM apps have managed to meet the needs of both IT and end users – until now. Plus, BBM Protected works together with the logging and auditing capabilities available today with BES, allowing enterprise customers in regulated industries to meet their compliance obligations.
How does BBM Protected work?
BBM Protected adds an additional layer of encryption to the existing BBM security model. With the new layer of BBM Protected encryption, messages sent between two BBM Protected users are encrypted using an encryption key unique to those two users. This encryption key is controlled by the enterprise; BlackBerry is not involved in brokering the exchange of the keys between the two devices.
The first time that two BBM Protected users go to establish a chat, they will be required to share a secret passphrase to authenticate their identities and generate the BBM Protected encryption key used to secure their chat. You can see a demo on how easy it is to share a secret passphrase.
The new layer of BBM Protected encryption also applies to multi-person chats and BBM Groups between BBM Protected users. Creating a BBM Protected Group is easy! You can view a short video of how to establish a BBM Protected Group, .
Why is BBM Protected different?
Not all secure instant messaging apps are created equal. BBM Protected is the most secure, most convenient and offers the best end user experience.
BBM Protected is the most secure mobile IM app:
- BBM Protected is the only secure IM client to use a FIPS 140-2 validated cryptographic library1.
- BBM Protected builds on the proven BlackBerry data security model for data at rest
- BBM Protected uses 3 layers of security for data in transit to protect messages
BBM Protected is the most convenient for IT:
- BBM Protected takes advantage of the investment that customers have already made in BES; there is no new hardware to purchase, no new servers to install and no new management console to learn.
- BBM Protected allows end users to securely message other BBM Protected users outside their company, on different BES servers without the need for costly and complex federation. When two BBM Protected users are chatting, their messages are automatically encrypted at this higher level of encryption.
BBM Protected offers the best end user experience:
- BBM Protected is a single app for all chats – inside and outside the company. Users have one contact list and one chat list. They don’t need to install a separate IM app for work messaging.
- BBM Protected security happens in the background without limiting the end user’s ability to take advantage of all the consumer features that IM has to offer. Many other enterprise IM apps limit employees to only communicating with colleagues inside the company. This limits end users who want to message customers, partners, family and friends.
When is BBM Protected available?
BBM Protected will be rolling out in several phases starting today with phase 1.
In Phase 1, BBM Protected will be available to BES customers who meet the following criteria:
- Customers with BBOS devices operating on BES 5
- Customers with BlackBerry 10 smartphones with gold licenses on BES10 running EMM regulated Work Space mode only
Subsequent phases this fall will add BBM Protected support for enterprise customers with BlackBerry 10 smartphones in Work/Personal Balance mode as well as organizations with iPhone and Android.
Where can I get more information on BBM Protected?
We know you have lots of questions about BBM Protected and the eBBM Suite. Head on over to BBM Protected for more information or read up on some of the frequently asked questions about BBM Protected, found here.
(1) Feature initially supported on BlackBerry OS devices; available on BlackBerry 10 devices in Fall 2014. Source: List of Validated FIPS 140-1 and FIPS 140-2 Cryptographic Modules at http://csrc.nist.gov/groups/STM/cmvp/documents/140-1/140val-all.htm as of May 28, 2014. For more information on the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Cryptographic Module Validation Program (CMVP), including FIPS 140-1 and FIPS 140-2 conformance claims that are used by some vendors that fall short of indicating NIST validation, see the FAQ document at http://csrc.nist.gov/groups/STM/cmvp/documents/CMVPFAQ.pdf ).
As of February 2015, BlackBerry holds 70+ security certifications and approvals from governments.