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PRIV is for Private: How BlackBerry Secures the Android Platform

10.20.15 / Alex Manea

DTEK logo, PRIV by BlackBerryBlackBerry has a long and storied history of building private and secure mobile solutions‎. BlackBerry OS was the first to provide secure email and applications on mobile devices. We pioneered the concept of app permissions, giving mobile users control over their personal data. With BlackBerry 10, we expanded our platform to include Android apps; first with our secure Android Player and then with direct APK downloads. In BlackBerry 10.3, we introduced the ability to download Android apps directly from the Amazon App Store.

Now for the first time ever, BlackBerry and Google have combined the most secure mobile platform with the most flexible application ecosystem to create a device that will revolutionize the way you look at smartphones, as our Chief Security Officer David Kleidermacher explained in his blog last week, How PRIV Sets the Bar for Android Privacy.

Building on decades of experience securing mobile devices and years of experience integrating Android technologies, BlackBerry’s brand new PRIV is the perfect smartphone for businesses and consumers looking for productivity, privacy and security. Kleidermacher outlined the four principles that guide our strong privacy approach; I’ll delve a little bit into the technology that delivers on our promise.

Bringing BlackBerry Security to Android

BlackBerry has applied its world-renowned security model to Android, including:

  • BlackBerry’s Hardware Root of Trust, a unique manufacturing process that injects cryptographic keys into the device hardware, providing a secure foundation for the entire platform.
  • Verified Boot and Secure Bootchain, which uses the embedded keys to verify every layer of the device from hardware to OS to applications in order to make sure they haven’t been tampered with.
  • A hardened Linux kernel with numerous patches and configuration changes to improve security.
  • FIPS 140-2 compliant full disk encryption on by default to protect your privacy.
  • The BlackBerry Infrastructure, a secure distributed global network that transmits petabytes of encrypted data to and from the world’s most powerful leaders and professionals.
  • BES12, the leading Enterprise Mobility Management platform used by the world’s most powerful governments and corporations.

Reaping the Benefits

Whether you’re protecting your personal privacy or business-critical data, the BlackBerry PRIV is designed to keep you safe and secure.

Protect Your Sandbox

PRIV integrates seamlessly with Android for Work to provide secure separation between work and personal data and applications. The Personal Space lets you download apps and protects your personal privacy, while the Work Space lets the enterprise secure its corporate data.

Safeguard Your Privacy

PRIV comes pre-loaded with the brand new BlackBerry DTEK application, designed to help you manage and protect your privacy. DTEK tells you which apps access your personal data and shows the overall security of your device based on factors such as the strength of your password, your encryption settings and the apps you have installed. DTEK even makes recommendations on how you can improve your overall security rating.

DTEK security, PRIV by BlackBerry

Work Hard, Play Harder

PRIV comes with full access to Google Play, the world’s largest mobile app store. For the first time ever, you get unlimited access to the entire Android ecosystem, giving you even more productivity and flexibility on the world’s most secure mobile platform.

IT administrators can also use Google Play for Work to manage and deploy enterprise applications. This allows them to whitelist apps to create a custom catalogue, self-host the APK files and ensure that users cannot download apps to their work space from anywhere else.

Going Under the Hood

Over the next few weeks, we’ll go into a lot more detail on the features above and much more. In the meantime, enjoy your new PRIV by BlackBerry, with the flexibility of the full Android ecosystem and the peace-of-mind of the world’s most trusted name in mobile privacy and security.

About Alex Manea