BlackBerry pushes deeper into federal security space

Dive Brief:

  • BlackBerry announced it received approval Thursday to sell its Secusuite tool — which encrypts phone calls and text messages — to U.S. federal government agencies. Approval was granted by the National Security Agency’s National Information Assurance Partnership (NIAP), according to ZDNet.
  • Apple and Samsung were previously approved by NIAP to sell mobile security tools to the federal government.
  • Secusuite supports encryption on iOS, Android and BlackBerry 10 smartphones and tablets, reports ZD Net.

Dive Insight:

BlackBerry CEO John Chen has worked to pivot BlackBerry toward security ever since the company’s iconic mobile phone was officially retired last year. The company made several security-related deals with the federal government last year.

Focusing on government is likely a good move amid growing concern about government IT security and growing use of mobile devices by federal officials. In May, President Donald Trump signed an executive order on cybersecurity in an effort to protect federal networks, critical infrastructure and national cybersecurity. Prioritizing cybersecurity as an issue of national security, Trump said he plans to hold agency and department heads accountable for managing cyber risk in their organizations.

It’s unclear which agencies might use BlackBerry’s tools, but the fact that more tools are now available to the federal government is a step in the right direction.