BBM Protected now available for BlackBerry Balance enabled devices

By Bla1ze on 12 Aug 2014 04:09 pm EDT
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The last time we spoke with Jeff Gadway at the BlackBerry Security Summit, he gave us a bit of a walkthrough of BBM Protected and let us know it would be rolling out to more users very soon. That time has come and now BlackBerry has made BBM Protected available to BlackBerry Balance enabled devices.

Today we started phase 2 of the BBM Protected roll out, adding support for BlackBerry devices using Balance technology. This step allows BBM Protected to work in BYOD, Balance, and COPE (Corporate Owned, Personally Enabled) environments as well as COBO (Corporate Owned, Business Enabled).

For security conscious organizations using Balance technology we're excited to be able to offer enhanced BBM Protected level encryption to the intra-company BBM messages being sent between employees inside the company as well as inter-company BBM messages being sent to employees at other companies using BBM Protected.

Just as before, enabling BBM Protected for Balance enabled devices is as simple as turning on an IT policy through the BES console. And for end users, the experience remains as simple and hassle free too – keep using BBM as you do today! End users will continue to use the same BBM app they currently have and BBM messages to other BBM Protected users (either at their company or at other companies using BBM Protected) are encrypted automatically using the advanced BBM Protected encryption. Messages sent to friends and family use the standard BBM encryption.

With this portion now rolled out, the next step is for BBM Protected to arrive on Android and iOS through Secure Work Space in the fall. After that, we should start to see more of the eBBM rollout happening. Remember there's still more to announce that will bring BlackBerry's flagship messaging service to more enterprise users.

Reader comments

BBM Protected now available for BlackBerry Balance enabled devices

62 Comments

Odd, the article mentions BlackBerry Balance enabled devices and shown is a 9900, a BBOS device. Something in this picture doesn't fit ;)

 BlackBerry Z30  If it Don't Make Dollars, It don't Make Sense 

Was eager to subscribe but the procedure is messy. It was supposed to require "GOLDEN" CALs thus I don't really know how to. Also, what if balance is active but the bbm account is private? Not clear...

I have the exact same question. When I send documents to my family, I always use BBM over regular email. However I can't explain how BBM will be more secure than other messaging platforms. Any taker?

thanks for bbelux1 for the link to the FAQ document. Here is the quick summary of how regular BBM currently works:

. phone - sever - phone connection uses Transport Layer Security (STL), same standard that is currently used for online shopping and banking.
. sender message is encrypted using triple DES 168-bit encryption before it leaves the sender's phone.
. receiver phone will decrypt the message once it arrives.
So regular users have two layers of security.

BBM Protected adds an additional level of encryption to messages sent between BBM Protected users by exchanging a set of public keys that are unique to those two users.

Now the next question is how BBM is more secured than other messaging platforms like iMessage, Snapchat, WeChat, etc.?

Well, we know that imessage has no encryption as in zero. Wasn't that news a few months ago? Likewise, given that several US congressmen have been busted for setting, tells you about the level of security on snapchat.

Posted via CB10

BBM all the way

Posted via the awesome power of BlackBerry 10 on one of my lovely devices probably my brand new Z30 or my great Q10 or my beautiful Z10

Might be time for CrackBerry to have an informative post about the whole scrambling/encrypted shing ding on BBM like the one done a few years ago.
It's discussed in the forums, but would be great to have an official CrackBerry post to clarify for those of us who might need a refresher course.
Why not even include VPN tips and other security clarification/options for the consumer to better understand? (I could use an "encrypted email for the layman consumer on BlackBerry" guide. Not wearing the tinfoil hat (yet), but would just like the information and possibilities.).

Frosty white Q10/10.2.1.3247

No wait, it's only a dead link if you tap it in the CB10 app to open it because it mangles the URL. If you copy and paste the URL in to the browser it works.

Posted from my BlackBerry Z30 STA100-2 /10.2.1.3247 on O2 UK - Activated on BES10.2.3

For some reason, the links only work if you copy and paste the text of the address to the browser. Simply clicking on them in the CB10 app doesn't seem to work. Very strange.

Frosty white Q10/10.2.1.3247

BES is the BESt.
Good is not good enough, even Jeffrey reckons. ;-)

 BlackBerry? I premdict the future's gonna be chenomenal! 

Perhaps you could provide a little context before you encourage someone to blindly click your link? Heck you could be working for Google for all we know..

Next time copy and paste the correct link, not the google TRACKING link. Seriously.

Posted via CrackBerry 10 (CB10) application using my BlackBerry Q10.

Oops sorry... too quick to post, started a draft, finished a call... and posted unfortunately.

http://us.blackberry.com/content/dam/blackBerry/pdf/support/northAmerica...

So, this is a link, at least working for me to a Blackberry document call BBM Protected FAQ. Blackberry is producing A LOT of these documents and have a HUGE Knowledge base on their website.

Call it cryptic, messy, with a lot of broken links but it's existing.

My point is :

Wow, great idea, we, BES users may now have access to BBM Protected, do we know actually HOW TO get access, and HOW TO setup the BBM protected seems unimportant.

Call my blackberry sales representative? Well, ok, who is it? where to find it? I mean, outside US, Canada and maybe London it's ...complicated!

So well, if the company can generate income via announcement, so be it. I Thought it currently had to sell something and I had to wire funds too.

BES Management is a complex topic, non covered by Blogs unfortunately. Unfortunately because lots of Small and Medium businesses like mine don't have a dedicated IT guy but have needs. Unfortunately beacuse I think you all did hear it loud and clear, the shift in Strategy is now turned to us, but...I may be blind.

Well considering the Blackberry strategy and enterprise focus, I think many blogs should target the IT guy in SMB.

An how to SETUP BBM Protected to from A to Z for example could be nice to have for us. Considering

Definitely second the idea of a dedicated Crackberry post on the whole subject.
BTW, must say that Blaze is doing an excellent job in his new role!

Posted via CB10

As a non corporate BBM user, I too would like to have some level of encryption. I certainly wish they offered some form of balance for the rest of us. I use my personal phone for work, but have no way to separate the two.

Posted via CB10

Anyone know if there is a way to tell if our messages are being transmitted with higher encryption? A different colour "bubble" or something?

I agree with some of the other comments. What's the difference? Why is BBM Protected better? If regular BBM is also encrypted, why should we care? BBRY needs to clearly explain this. Will everyone run for this hills because regular BBM is not as secure?

You are already using the most secure consumer grade messaging system available. To get enterprise / govt. grade security, you need the enterprise/govt. grade BES with its 256 ELLIPTIC curve encryption.

From my Neutrino Powered Z10

Second that. Going a mile beyond even an article on whole affair of how BlackBerry is more secure and why. A long post equally good for layman and veterans. Especially after the black phone rooting fiasco it would be a gem.

Save me the trouble of convincing my brother to switch from iphone ( wink ) I just sold my 9780 and 9900 to my uncle and one more convert wouldn't hurt.

Z10STL100-1/10.3.0.700

Blackphone apparently admitted that they would want users to be able to root the phone (needs physical possession, right?), and modify it.

Their emphasis was more on privacy, also on the web, where BlackBerry offers nothing apart from completely turning of Javascript and disabling cookies and Flash.

No browser add-ons like ad-blockers, Ghostery, NoScript, Anonymox, etc...

Haven't checked the Blackphone in depth, but it should ship with a privacy enhanced browser...

 BlackBerry? I premdict the future's gonna be chenomenal! 

I still wish there was a way to enable Balance on my phone without needing additional services. If I am a freelancer I cannot keep my personal and professional lives in separate spaces on my phone. :( :( :(

Ask your local provider/carrier if they offer hosted BES services... though it's possible you need a certain minimum quantity of devices...

Ferrari ZetaTrenta STA100-2 Versione 10.2.1.2977

Well... depends, define expensive. In Switzerland, would say a Top5 country in terms of mobile costs (1MB Roaming is charged between 2-8 USD... so...), Swisscom offers BES, if I remember well for min. 3 devices and the equivalent of around 20 Usd a month / device... don't know though, but i can imagine that they for sure will charge an initial fee of 100 and charge you 20 bucks just for printing the contractual document if not done online... and another 10 bucks for accessing their site and for clicking more than once on the same link... ;-)

Ferrari ZetaTrenta STA100-2 Versione 10.2.1.2977

Sounds very good, like how the execution matches the bold announcements made by the C-Level so far... finally BlackBerry has a management team it deserves...

Ferrari ZetaTrenta STA100-2 Versione 10.2.1.2977

I would absolutely love a "how-to" article on how a consumer might go about getting this. While I understand one needs BES (and one can have a free trial of it via BES cloud), I would certainly love more consumer friendly information on this. I for one would be the first in line to get this if it were made easily available to regular consumers. I echo other sentiments here that another article on this might be warranted.

Being a security conscious person, I cannot help but wonder, if one does indeed use a BES cloud solution, does that not imply then that your private keys are being stored online, or am I incorrect? I understand the practicality of the cloud, but worry about the privacy aspect of it if that is the case.

Shopping cart icon had a splat on it? Signify new sicker packs available? I think that's new never noticed it before.

Buddha Stories - C0038CC70

Finally for balance. I just placed a bbm protected license order with my hosted bes provider. Yeah!

Posted via CB10

This is so awesome. Showing the bold 9900 is also great. It's a workhorse.

Posted via CrackBerry 10 (CB10) application using my BlackBerry Q10.

I asked for more information fromm BlackBerry on BBM no response so far, company is looking for encrypted chat solution but BlackBerry is not interested

Posted via CB10

Got my boss to download BBM on his personal phone-an android. We text a lot; having additional characters over standard sms AND blackberry security to boot is really impressing him. The free part of BBM being free brings smiles to his face and the operating budget.

Posted via CB10