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The Road to Success: How a Transportation Company Embraced Digital Transformation with BlackBerry

BLACKBERRY GUARD / 03.24.22 / Tony Lee

Update 11/18/2022We are excited to share that CybersecAsia has selected BlackBerry for its 2022 Reader’s Choice Award for “Best in Extended/Endpoint Detection & Response" for our work with the Blue Bird Group.

BlackBerry has been inducted into the CybersecAsia Reader’s Choice Awards Hall of Fame for winning an award three years in a row. The CybersecAsia Awards program recognizes cybersecurity trailblazers driving notable advancement in the industry.

BlackBerry wishes to congratulate the Blue Bird team on its approach to making security a systemic focus of its digital transformation efforts, and for leading the way toward greater adoption of managed XDR capabilities in its region.

In 1972, the Blue Bird Group—better known as Bluebird—started with a fleet of just 25 cars.

It’s come a long way since then. Today, Bluebird is Indonesia’s largest ground transportation operator, with over 23,000 taxis. The company has also expanded its scope with buses, limousines, rental cars, logistic services, and a partnership with a local digital company to accelerate its transformation.

While the taxi industry was struggling globally, disrupted by COVID-19 and displaced by ride-hailing services, Bluebird remained largely unchallenged, its biggest competition in cities like the bustling capital of Jakarta came from companies offering two-wheeled transportation.

“It’s at least partially a matter of safety and trust,” says Bluebird’s Vice President of Information Technology Muhammad Suhada. “That’s always been one of Bluebird’s strong points: People know they can trust us.”

Bluebird has always had an eye for innovation, pivoting to adjust to market trends and forming partnerships with businesses that might otherwise be competitors. It was because of one such pivot that Bluebird sought out BlackBerry.

“We recognized that in order to stay competitive with modern ride-sharing services, we needed to evolve,” Suhada explains. “We needed to streamline the customer experience across all our lines of business. It was with this goal in mind that we set out on a journey toward digital transformation.”

While the benefits of modernization would be significant, so too were the dangers. Even the simplest digital transformation initiative can exponentially increase an organization’s online attack surface. It could expose Bluebird to new risks, threats, and vulnerabilities—challenges it historically lacked the internal expertise to address.

“We wanted to keep the security team as lean as possible,” Suhada explains. “One of the criteria I was looking for in that regard was artificial intelligence and machine learning. Managed detection and response was another major driver.

“We quickly determined that the company needed something that could protect both modern and legacy infrastructure, integrating readily with other platforms. The solution also needed to be resource-light, with full local support from the vendor,” Suhada continues.

After evaluating several different vendors, Bluebird ultimately chose to partner with BlackBerry. The CylancePROTECT® endpoint protection platform (EPP) and CylanceOPTICS®, for endpoint detection and response (EDR), are automated, “prevention-first” solutions that use AI and machine learning to defend against malware infection and potential data breaches.

For example, a recent breach attempt against an Indonesian company was foiled when BlackBerry’s Cylance® AI engine detected and eliminated the presence of cryptojacking malware. CylanceGUARD® is a 24x7 managed XDR (extended detection and response) service that offers companies access to trained threat prevention experts on a subscription-based, 24x7x364 basis. The service augments lean security teams to add proactive threat hunting and around-the-clock breach prevention, saving time and resources, while avoiding challenges like staffing shortages and alert fatigue.

BlackBerry partner PT Telekomunikasi Selular, part of Indonesia’s largest telecom network and digital services provider Telkomsel, also played a significant role in the security solution implementation for Bluebird.

“Alongside BlackBerry, Telkomsel has been incredibly proactive in supporting us,” says Suhada. “With their help, we’ve already completed the majority of our implementation, and they provide both solutions and manpower whenever we run into a technical issue. Working with them has been awesome.”

“As companies like Bluebird Group become ‘digital-first,’ they must also become ‘cybersecurity-first.’ However, often they don’t know where to start, how much it costs, and what skills and tools are required,” says Ceppy Djakaria, Vice President of Corporate Account Management at Telkomsel. “Together with BlackBerry, we are putting intelligent cyber technologies and skills in reach of any sized business, to help protect, enable and defend against new threats.”

For its part, BlackBerry Protect proved its value to Bluebird almost immediately. During the implementation process, the solution detected cryptojacking malware. As a result, the company was able to quickly isolate and eliminate the malicious software before it could cause any damage.

“Bluebird’s vendor and partner ecosystem is quite complex,” notes Suhada. “We’re constantly forming new partnerships, which add more payment gateways, endpoints, apps, and APIs. The risks and threats really add up, and the pandemic only amplifies that.

“Ultimately, Bluebird has always put safety and security at the heart of our business, from our consumer experience through to our IT ecosystem,” he continues. “BlackBerry software, coupled with managed security and response, is the perfect solution for us. Together with support from Telkomsel, BlackBerry offered everything we were looking for: smart, AI-based machine learning and a fully dedicated external security team, allowing us to optimize our resources to improve and streamline user experience.”

To learn more, read the full Bluebird case study here.

Tony Lee

About Tony Lee

Vice President of Global Services Technical Operations, BlackBerry.

Tony Lee, Vice President of BlackBerry Global Services Technical Operations, has more than fifteen years of professional research and consulting experience pursuing his passion in all areas of information security.

As an avid educator, Tony has instructed thousands of students at many venues worldwide, including government, universities, corporations, and conferences such as Black Hat. He takes every opportunity to share knowledge as a contributing author to Hacking Exposed 7, and is also a frequent blogger, researcher, and author of white papers on topics ranging from Citrix Security, the China Chopper Web shell, and Cisco's SYNFul Knock router implant.

Over the years, he has contributed many tools to the security community such as UnBup, Forensic Investigator Splunk app, and CyBot, the extensible Threat Intelligence Bot framework designed for anyone from a home user to a SOC analyst.