BlackBerry Bolsters Android Security for the Enterprise

Friday, February 27, 2015.

A potentially game-changing announcement was made this week by BlackBerry, revealing plans to join the Android for Work programme with Google.

This will enable BlackBerry's cross-platform EMM solution, BES12, to manage Android Lollipop devices, equipping them with advanced security features to separate business and personal data and applications.

"BlackBerry is working with Google to provide customers with solutions they can confidently deploy on all major mobile platforms within their organisation," said Billy Ho, BlackBerry's Executive Vice President of Enterprise Products and Value-Added Solutions.

Aligned with BES12, Android for Work will create a secure, dedicated profile for business data and applications. The BES12 solution will seamlessly integrate with the Android operating system to enable platform-level containerisation. This method will eliminate the need for app wrapping, while providing access to Google Now and any Android application available on Goggle Play for Work that is permitted by an organisation's IT policies.

BlackBerry also revealed the expansion of its cross-platform efforts to support Android through value-added services such as BBM Meetings, Worklife by BlackBerry, and BBM Protected for additional enterprise tools.

The announcement marks a significant development for Enterprise Mobility professionals, as Android for Work is built around enhanced security for protecting corporate data, simplified management of BYOD and corporate-owned devices for IT administration, as well as open platform innovation for a greater choice of applications and functionality.

The integration with BES12 will deliver a highly secure and flexible way for organisations to manage Android for Work, with all the latest Android mobile devices managed natively within the BES12 environment, either on premise or in the cloud. This will all be supported by BlackBerry's gold standard of mobile security, scalable architecture and trusted network infrastructure.

Organisations implementing any Android solution will be able to leverage BlackBerry's strategic EMM services. Regardless of how organisations deploy Android devices, BlackBerry and BES12 will offer support for their mobility security ecosystem.

BlackBerry's extensive expertise in security will add another dimension to Android's highly-distributed mobile devices within the enterprise setting. Organisations will also be empowered by one single EMM platform to manage all devices, flexible deployment options to meet the changing needs of the business, an intuitive user experience focused on mobile productivity, and a rich Enterprise Mobility ecosystem of apps and services.

This will reinforce one of Android's weaker points in its security features, while playing to BlackBerry's strengths in the software market, and provide some significant opposition for the partnership between Apple and IBM in the Enterprise Mobility space in the coming years.