BlackBerry outs SecuTABLET for government, business users

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BlackBerry is banking on its strong points – enterprise class security in mobile devices – and has rolled out its new tablet dubbed SecuTABLET – a collaboration of technologies from IBM, Samsung and BlackBerry’s recent acquisition Secusmart.

BlackBerry has based its SecuTABLET on Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S 10.5, but has made it luring for government and business users by blessing it with high encryption. Priced at $2,380, SecuTABLET comes bundled with some software from IBM and SecuSmart’s special MicroSD card, which combines a number of cryptographic chips to protect data in motion and at rest.

Beyond the encryption and apps, it comes with the necessary app-wrapping and management software, and a year’s maintenance contract as well.

“Security is ingrained in every part of BlackBerry’s portfolio, which includes voice and data encryption solutions,” said Dr Hans-Christoph Quelle, chief executive officer of Secusmart GmbH, in a statement on the new device.

“The project was started long before BlackBerry acquired Secusmart,” said Quelle, now a senior vice president at BlackBerry.

The device was undergoing certification by the German Federal Office for Information Security for secure rating, the statement said, adding that the new tablet used the same security technology as the Secusmart Security Card.
Secusmart will sell the device in Germany, while IBM will sell it elsewhere.

According to IBM, organisations deploying the tablet will be able to decide on what apps can the devices run through policy based approach. They will also be able to decide whether those apps must be wrapped – this means that the app which is downloaded from public app stores will be bundled with additional libraries that encrypt its network traffic and intercept Android “intents” for actions such as cutting or pasting data, then uploaded to a private app store—ensures that corporate data can be protected at rest, while in motion and in use.

For instance, this wrapping will ensure that users are not able to copy-paste contents of a secure email onto their Facebook post or timeline or anywhere else, but can do so in a secure collaboration environment, or any other app forming part of the same “federation”, IBM Germany spokesman Stefan Hefter explained.