BlackBerry launches BBM Protected, the first solution of the eBBM Suite

BBM
By Adam Zeis on 16 Jun 2014 08:13 am EDT
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We've been hearing about BBM Protected and the eBBM Suite for quite some time now, and today BlackBerry has finally pulled the trigger. BBM Protected is the first part of eBBM to launch and will bring a new level of security to BBM users. eBBM works within the existing BBM application, but adds another layer for enterprises that require the utmost security.

Currently devices running BB0S 6.0 or later or BlackBerry 10 in Regulated mode will be able to use BBM Protected. Versions of BBM Protected for BlackBerry 10 smartphones using BlackBerry Balance and iOS and Android devices are expected later this year.

Press Release

BlackBerry Delivers on eBBM Suite

Company Launches BBM Protected for Secure Enterprise Messaging

WATERLOO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - June 16, 2014) - BlackBerry Limited (NASDAQ: BBRY)(TSX: BB), a global leader in mobile communications, today announced the availability of BBM™ Protected, the first solution in the eBBM™ Suite for secure enterprise-class messaging.

The eBBM Suite is a new family of BBM products and services built for business that bring together the convenience and usability of BBM with the additional security and compliance required by enterprise customers. The eBBM Suite will include new services designed to enable mobile workers to be more productive on the go, while meeting enterprises' needs for security, manageability and control. The first product in the eBBM Suite which was announced earlier this year, BBM Protected, is being delivered ahead of schedule today.

As part of the suite, BBM Protected provides an enhanced security model for BBM messages sent between BlackBerry smartphones. BBM Protected brings regulated industries the most secure and reliable real-time mobile messaging experience in the industry. BBM Protected is the only secure mobile instant messaging app that uses a FIPS 140-2 validated cryptographic library.(1) BBM Protected enables employees to use the same app to securely message colleagues inside the company for work as they do to chat and share with family and friends outside the company. Secure BBM Protected chats aren't limited to users inside the company; employees can chat securely with BBM Protected users at others companies too - they do not need to be on the same BES server and no federation between servers is required.

"We've been testing BBM Protected on behalf of our customers and have been impressed so far," said Zekeria Oezdemir, Technical Director of NovaLink. "BBM Protected is the ideal solution for our banking and insurance customers who have increased security needs."

The current release of BBM Protected can be used for BlackBerry smartphones running BB0S 6.0 or later or BlackBerry 10 in Regulated mode. Versions of BBM Protected for BlackBerry 10 smartphones using BlackBerry Balance and iOS and Android devices are expected later this year.

For more information about the eBBM Suite, visit www.blackberry.com/BBMprotected.

Reader comments

BlackBerry launches BBM Protected, the first solution of the eBBM Suite

56 Comments

Ya I agree they need a desktop client badly (needs to include tablets as well). Do that then everyone is connected, then bbm becomes the most accessible.

Posted via CB10

I wonder if they'll keep these services exclusive to enterprise users, or if they'll eventually offer a version for consumers for a subscription. Very interesting stuff though. Hopefully this means a desktop version will be soon to follow.

Posted while peeking and flowing on my incredible BBQ10! 

I don't see how it can be useful for consumer use. If your in a situation where you need this kind of security, then you should get your own BlackBerry server

Posted via CB10

Surely BES Cloud edition could be extended to offer consumers who want it a subscription based NSA free ability to communicate. Many would find value in that.

From my Neutrino Powered Z10

Agreed! I'm one.

I have been trying to test cloud bes for a while (since I got some free user licenses for the beta) but I don't have the time to setup. Oh how I miss BIS

Posted Via CB10 on my Zed 30

My family, for example, want to pay for a subscription to BBM Protect. We have various businesses throughout the family.

We're probably not going to purchase BES for 4 people.

Quality Poultry - Channel PIN: C004B64D1

It'd be nice $ boost if enterprises can buy a employee+family/circle add-on that extends the eBBM license/capability to each employee's family or close/frequent circle of contacts. This way, each eBBM user/enterprise will feel a need (or be forced to) encourage his or her family/close contacts to get BBM in order to communicate with them.

Extra $ and more BBM subscribers.

Posted via CB10

Certicom ECC crypto the only solution for real security. Certicom is owned by BlackBerry.

Posted via CB10

This is the security level required for corporate and government clients. It will also aid in the promotion of BlackBerry devices in this area only. Fortunately, there does exist the possibility of consumer spin off use amongst these users. Therefore BlackBerry should continue a reasonable effort to continue the development of the consumer side. My big question is how will the corporate / government sectors that are not currently using BESx even know about this. BlackBerry doesn't advertise for the consumer, fine, but they should at least have a few advertisements for this sector.

Posted via CB10

Don't worry, BlackBerry will exist in the government and corporate sectors--*just like* your signature used to say...

Nice to see the release of another revenue generating service. This along with other services such as secure NFC transactions are what will add dollars to the bottom line. As this new suite of services is aimed at it's growing list of corporate customers and has the potential potential to generate revenue, it will no doubt be ignored by Chris Umi. Are you listening Chris?

Posted via CB10

Nice! BlackBerry moving in right direction. Keep going!

Zwiped from a lightening fast, uber cool and bad-ass handset. They call it Z10, I call it Zeddy!

Hmmm... 2 people on 2 different enterprises, on different servers, communicating with each other... That means there is a master key at BlackBerry or that keys are exchanged on a scrambled line... no thanks.

And typical of BlackBerry, their product page is not up...

Uh, because they are a business and they are doing what businesses do by trying to get you sucked into the whole package thereby increasing their revenues.

Posted via CB10

Indeed, but there are plenty of solutions on Android for businesses who don't need as much traceability as regulated enterprises do, so why not kill 2 birds with one stone and make all those features available in the OS itself, while keeping BES as a MDM.

They haven't given us much details but it looks like the service uses asymmetric encryption. The way asymmetric encryption works is you have 2 keys, one is called public key the other is private key. The keys are mathematically related but it is computationally hard to guess the private key from the public key. Usually with a asymmetric encryption system you usually have some PKI for key distribution, this is likely why BES is required. Of course you could do in person key exchange, but imagine trying to do that in an enterprise of thousands of users, it just doesn't scale. Just know that it is ok for blackberry to give out your public key, as long as your private key stays on each device. Because it is asymmetric it makes it easy for you to do encrypted chat with someone from a different company because you just need to do the initial key exchange. I just wished blackberry open sourced their implementation for review, but this form of encryption is nothing new

My understanding is that the extra layer of security for encryption is asymmetrical. The public and private key are generated on the device. It seems all that is occurring is an exchange of the public key, which is the whole point of it being public so it can be shared. I don't see where they say the private key is stored. It is probably stored both on the BES and the device. So, BlackBerry doesn't have a master key and you can't decrypt without the private key. No issues here.

Posted via CB10

Now I know why they made BBM cross platform.... now eBBM can sell better.... there would have been no takers if it was only for BlackBerry phones!

Good Move.... I hope it sells well :)

Posted via CB10... and my awesome Z10

It's good to see BlackBerry is finally leveraging their security. It would be nice to have that service extended to consumers also. Imagine if BlackBerry purchased a small carrier and started marketing themselves as the only truly secure carrier.

Concerning the Passphrase requirment: there would have to be some acceptance feature to your BBM Chat or Group chat . What happens if your pass pharase gets leaked out and all of sudden your a bombarded with BBM Protected Chats / BBM Protected Group Chats invite requests from other business strangers and or is knowing the BBM pass pharse a security risk ?

To get to such a BBM group chat, you would require to be invited (or access the qr code) AND know the pass phrase.

Posted via CB10

I don't understand one thing with BlackBerry...why not release everything for everyone at the same time??? Why always "later this year"..that is where they wrong again and again!

Posted via CB10

You mentioned phones using balance will get the update later in the year but I have balance and still got the update. Does bbm have to be installed on the work side to get the future update?

Posted via CB10

BHS / BFS

BlackBerry Home / Family Server, with at-home hosting as private cloud.

If you already put that much effort in, give it to us as a consumer version, shouldn't be to hard...

"No Q10?" -> "Buy from Chen... "