BlackBerry 7 Smartphones Certified for U.S. and Canadian Governments

BlackBerry Security
By Adam Zeis on 1 Feb 2012 09:37 am EST

It's no secret that RIM has always been tops when it comes to security. BlackBerry smartphones have been used in government areas for years, mostly due to the ability to secure the devices and network. Today RIM announced that that BlackBerry OS 7 and 7.1 has earned FIPS 140-2 Certification by the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the Communications Security Establishment Canada. This means government agencies and consumers alike should be worry free when it comes to security on BlackBerry products. Keep reading for the full press release.

BlackBerry 7 Smartphones Certified for U.S. and Canadian Governments

BlackBerry 7 and 7.1 OS Achieve FIPS 140-2 Certification

WATERLOO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 1, 2012) - Research In Motion (RIM) (NASDAQ:RIMM)(TSX:RIM) today announced that BlackBerry(R) smartphones running on the powerful new BlackBerry(R) 7 and BlackBerry(R) 7.1 Operating Systems (OS) have been awarded FIPS 140-2 certification by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC). FIPS (Federal Information Processing Standard) 140-2 is recognized by the U.S. and Canadian governments and is required under the Federal Information Security Management Act of 2002 (FISMA).

All BlackBerry smartphones running BlackBerry 7 and BlackBerry 7.1 benefit from this certification, including the BlackBerry(R) Bold(TM) 9900, 9930 and 9790, BlackBerry(R) Torch(TM) 9850, 9860 and 9810, and BlackBerry(R) Curve(TM) 9350, 9360, 9370 and 9380.

"The FIPS 140-2 certification for BlackBerry 7.0 and 7.1 illustrates RIM's continuing commitment to providing industry-leading, secure, mobile computing platforms for our customers," said Scott Totzke, Senior Vice President, BlackBerry Security at Research In Motion. "With all of the latest BlackBerry smartphones and the PlayBook tablet certified under the FIPS program, government and security-conscious customers can deploy our entire range of products with confidence."

In addition to FIPS 140-2 certification, the BlackBerry 7 OS has received Common Criteria EAL4+ certification (see announcement - November 14, 2011). The BlackBerry(R) PlayBook(TM) tablet has also received FIPS 140-2 validation (see announcement - July 21, 2011).

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Adam Zeis Adam Zeis "Mobile Nations Content Strategist" 3740 (articles) 2892 (forum posts)

Reader comments

BlackBerry 7 Smartphones Certified for U.S. and Canadian Governments


If governments and corporate business are still on OS 6, they need to do themselves a favour and upgrade to OS 7 devices ASAP. I think if their impression of BB is OS 6 and below, they're in for a nice surprise.

My friend works for an MP and House of Commons administers their BlackBerries...his is still on 5.0, even tho he's got a 9700.

He only got Facebook and Twitter last year because the MP's had asked for it.

What I want to know is whether other devices/OS's get this kind of approval??? Sure, we hear great things about the security of BBs, but how does it compare??? Why are more and more corporate and government users allowing employees to choose other devices or allowing Bring Your Own Device?

Exactly, people didn't want to use BB back then because they were quite tame. Now, they are not only secure but able to do most things that the iphone and friends can do now.

I am in the military, so this is a boost to me ego! Next time someone in the unit asks I will say something cheeky and then say my phone is certified for work, is yours?

Yay blackberry, now get ready to certify BB10!

I'm with DND/CF and we are still using OS6 Curve 3G's so I really hope that in the next upgrade cycle they give us OS7 devices. But DND hobbles all the good stuff on a BB anyway :-( It's only really good for corporate emais and making calls, web surfing on a Curve even with OS6 is a marginally useful at best.

I somehow managed to get the TORCH 9810 "issued" to me before Christmas... so wait, you will get yours eventually....

Count yourself lucky with a Curve 3G. I'm still using an issued Telus 8530 many months after the federal contract changed. The Navy is so slow. LOL

It may not win over 17 year old kids but security really matters. BlackBerry rules security on the smart phones.

You guys bring up some great points - Unfortunately for BlackBerry, being a corporate go to device does mean that you get to be on the "unsexy side" of things quite often. It does make me wonder if every iPhone advocate would be as enthusiastic when you strip iOS to the bare bones and take away all the apps.

I see the term "if it works great, why replace it?" being used sometimes. Heck, I still see people with old blackberries who strictly use them for messaging and calls, no apps at all. I'm talking about older than OS 4. I even saw a few big blue ones. :D

Rocking it out with OS 7 and 7.1!

I have used BB OS's from 4 to 7.1 extensively. I think the differences in OS6 vs 7.x are negligible. There is better app compatibility w/OS6, but I do like the 'panel mgt' of OS7. The 7.1 leak 9900 leak I'm using has really improved my battery issues. But a 9700, even 9300 are still great devices if running OS6.

It's a good point of how would iOS users like their iPhones if all the 'fun' apps were hobbled?

It's also true that the BB browser, though much improved since OS5 and lower, still isn't great. iPhone/Android beat it big time. But BB's push services, profile settings, security, stomp all over EVERYTHING else, if you like to use those. If you just set your phone to Vibrate, then iPhone and Android become contenders (setting aside security and push).

As for govt MLAs/MPs using OS5 or older - these people are often too busy to pay attention to things like latest updates on devices, regardless of model/brand. Yes, they usually want the 'latest greatest' but that's the marketing and keeping up factor, most only use the email and the calendar, regardless of device, though Facebook and Twitter are getting more use now, and browser.

When they bring me a compatible device for some issue, I will load latest OS, but it often throws them for a loop, as they are very often attached to 'familiarity', and many aren't too tech savvy.

Adam, why on Earth do you throw up an OS6 device when the story is about OS7? Photoshop a 9810 in there...