Secure Work Space on iOS and Android gets FIPS 140-2 certified

By Adam Zeis on 26 Mar 2014 08:16 am EDT

BlackBerry has kicked up the security not only on their own devices, but also on Android and iOS. They've announced today that Secure Work Space for iOS and Android is now Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 140-2 certified.

FIPS 140-2 is a huge certification when it comes to government spaces, and now security conscious organizations in US and Canada can safely deploy Secure Work Space in these environments. This security extends to both data-at-rest and data-in-transit for iOS and Android devices, meaning that all data is secure while within the enterprise.

Press Release

BlackBerry Advances Security of its Multi-Platform Mobility Portfolio with New Cryptography Certification

FIPS 140-2 validation granted for Secure Work Space for iOS and Android

WATERLOO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - March 26, 2014) - BlackBerry Limited (NASDAQ: BBRY)(TSX: BB), a world leader in mobile communications, today announced that Secure Work Space for iOS® and Android™, a multi-platform containerization solution managed through BlackBerry® Enterprise Service 10 (BES10), is now Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 140-2 certified.

Considered a critical benchmark for security in government, FIPS validation assures users that a given encryption technology has passed rigorous testing in order to be used to encrypt and secure sensitive information. The certification will allow security-conscious organizations, including U.S. and Canadian government agencies, to confidently deploy Secure Work Space to securely separate sensitive corporate data from personal content.

"Organizations, in both the public and private sectors, must take the necessary steps to protect sensitive data and ensure that their mobile solutions offer the highest level of security," said Ben Hoffman, mobility analyst at IDC. "FIPS 140-2 certification indicates that BlackBerry is meeting the strict security requirements that many enterprise customers require."

The FIPS certification demonstrates BlackBerry's security capabilities for the transfer of sensitive data on third party devices. With Secure Work Space, BES10 protocols for data-at-rest and data-in-transit are extended to iOS and Android devices, including smartphones and tablets. This means data is protected while traversing networks as well as within the walls of the enterprise. Administrators can configure, secure, wipe and interact within the Secure Work Space on a device, while employees can enjoy the device for personal use. The features make Secure Work Space an ideal solution for organizations that desire the flexibility of a BYOD program with the control they require for mobile communications.

"BlackBerry is considered the most trusted and secure mobile platform and we continue to provide customers with choice and flexibility without compromising security," said Scott Totzke, Senior Vice President, Security Group at BlackBerry. "The FIPS 140-2 validation for Secure Work Space for iOS and Android demonstrates the multi-platform security capabilities that BlackBerry delivers for customers, helping governments and enterprises alike to deploy third-party devices with more confidence and less risk."

FIPS 140-2 is issued by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to coordinate the requirements and standards for certifying cryptographic modules. The standard was developed through the Cryptographic Module Validation Program (CMVP), which certifies products for use by U.S. government agencies and regulated industries that collect, store, transfer, share and disseminate sensitive information. Product certifications under the CMVP are performed in accordance with the requirements of FIPS 140-2. In addition to U.S. government recognition, the certification is accepted and supported by the Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC) for government use.

BlackBerry products and solutions are protected by best-in-class AES 256-bit encryption, a highly secure, internationally recognized data protection standard. In addition to FIPS certification, BlackBerry products have continuously passed rigorous security assessments from a variety of independent organizations around the world. For example, BlackBerry 10 smartphones approved by NATO for use in classified communications up to the level of "Restricted." Additionally, BlackBerry was the first MDM vendor to achieve "Authority to Operate" on the U.S. Department of Defense's secure networks.

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

Reader comments

Secure Work Space on iOS and Android gets FIPS 140-2 certified


Hahaha BlackBerry is better at securing iOS and Android than their own manufacturers are! That is funny!

Mmm...CB10! Just the tip though...

That's because Apple and Google had no intention in securing their phones. It's called collusion with the NSA.

AES256 is quite a big combination lock. Probably to large to carry if it was fleshed out in a real metal version. And you'd probably spend a "few" hours playing with it....

Zzzzwiped from a Zedevice....

Actually ECC encryption is. AES256 doubles this key.

Powered by my BlackBerry (Z10). Join my #BBM Channels C001227CF, C00476C37, C003829C9, C002454C9,C002190AC, C00120CE3

Oh please, I think you missed the point. There is a difference between designing an embedded security focused device, with the NSA trying to crack it open and phone makers (Hello Apple and Google) actively colluding with the NSA providing them multiple backdoors to access your emails, phone records, contacts and movements. This is all well documented in the mainstream media. Try searching the NYT just in the last week alone. Time to stop making excuses for companies who care little about your privacy.

Blackberry isn't exactly a company who cares about your privacy. Has everyone forgotten cispa already.

Posted via the Android CrackBerry App!

You are confusing an openly debated bill that would provide a regulatory/legal framework to access communication information with the secret and illegal (unconstitutional) practice of mass data collect. Please give your head a shake.

Collusion between the NSA and Apple and Android is only the beginning. They also faked the moon landing and hid the aliens at Groom Lake (aka Area 51).


Posted using my Z10 via CB10

The question is how is it secure. If anything can exploit the OS it renders the apps pretty much open to any attack... or am I missing something?

Posted via CB10

.I have been telling you for a while that the Z30 is the "Best Rated/Most Recommended" smartphone on the planed, according to, owners on Verizon, Amazon, Rogers etc....

If that wasn't enough for you... check out Techno Buffalo's "March Madness Mobile" tournament where the Z30, not only, WON - but reasserted itself as the "Best Smartphone on the Planet"...

You are correct, cordial, that the author did hyperlink a lukewarm review from an Endgadget iTard Flunkie reviewer....

Hopefully, all the empirical evidence that I am sharing with you will make you feel better about the Z30.... but I doubt it...

Enjoy and I loved the part in this TB tournament where iPhone 5S and 5C got smokes so early in the tournament... as well they should have...

Not so sure this is good news. Will this assist in government agencies in moving to other platforms?

Seems like a double edge sword.

Posted via CB10

Exactly, services are where the money is as hardware margins are dropping for everyone. It was bound to happen and it is simply mirroring the desktop computer market. Remember that Blackberry provides service discounts if you buy the hardware (BB10). Sweet deal. And don't forget that BES is going cloud based in the next year which means services can be extended to small business and/or groups of individuals. The revenue engine is building.

Hey is it just me or is the article rather understating the importance of this?

Seems ginormously important, as if removing the break on a car on a heavy slope. With this I feel BlackBerry gets a huuuge leap forward for their mobile management solution.

I'm Zeeing a bright future for Blackberry

I suppose it depends on where the biggest chunk of cash is. This gives security to Android and iOS, but they still require BlackBerry services. If anything, it locks enterprise into BlackBerry as a service provider and keeps the brand, and potentially devices, on their radar.

Exactly. We can't pretend that companies and government agencies aren't already choosing iOS and Android over BB10 devices. This at least keeps BlackBerry the company more relevant as a software provider (and perpetual service revenue collector ;) ), and is yet another reason for IT departments to pick BES10 over other MDM providers. Plus, it's one more thing that BES10 can offer over Samsung's KNOX service.


Powered by my BlackBerry (Z10). Join my #BBM Channels C001227CF, C00476C37, C003829C9, C002454C9,C002190AC, C00120CE3

The $ for BB is in BES contracts.
The sale of the phones is not a growth profit center having low margins.

Well done, but I don't know if it's really a good news...

Till now, when security was a need for some companies, they had no choice... now a lot.

So a good news for BES; a bad for BB devices?

Exactly, but given Blackberry's intention to concentrate on the software side and bring devices to a lower priority, it looks like a good thing for them.

Posted via CB10

US Federal Government has already switch to iphone and android. Maybe they don't want to be the last in the line of OS upgrades likes BlackBerry in the US.

God Bless You!

Posted via CB10

Last in line? Last I heard, you can use another carrier's sim and get the update easily, then swap sims again.

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

And there goes the motivation for Canadian and USA gov to buy BB10 devices

Posted via CB10

There is no guarantee they would be going to BB handsets with or without this certification. I find it hard to look at this certification as a negative for BB.

Handsets are a one-time income for BB. BES can be an on-going recurring income that can more than offset any potential handset sales. In addition they will enable BB to build relationships with these clients and from there can look at pushing BB10 devices in these accounts and get sales they may not have had otherwise.

If BlackBerry phones were the only ones with this certification then govs and police would NEED to use BlackBerry as they only ones approved. This opened up to gov using iPhone etc

Posted via CB10

The government can get BES but will pay more for IOS and android phone under bes10 whereas they will pay less fee for the bb10 phone.

Slowly in a few years they will get blackberry phone to save money and when the blackberry brand gets a better reputation and the iOS and Android trend settles down a bit by then for Android apps from your blackberry 10 browser

Go back to android/ios/windows phone realm?

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

BlackBerry always has and always will be number one phone for its market which is business use. People forget BlackBerry's were never designed for mass consumer market but because people loved them they now are wrongly being compared in mass consumer market where they don't belong. All the whining about apps etc made BlackBerry make the mistake of trying to appease the masses which was never going to work. Bottom line these are devices for work use not toys and bloody effective they are at their job. Go blackberry look after your core users because that's what you excel at and any consumers you pick up along the way are a bonus and remember all the resources used competing with android etc are resources wasted!

Tapping and flicking on my Zed 10

I've been telling people this for years. So many people claim to have been long time BB users and yet don't know this simple fact. BB needs to focus on the enterprise. When only the elite have BB10 devices they will become desirable again.

Consumers, more than ever, are driving business. And that niche market where you point out that BB is in the lead, well they arent, or arent for long. BYOD has been killing them. This step (UDS) is a necessary step for them, and will hopefully increase revenue, but most importantly profits. Look at other service based companies (Microsoft). Their profits are huge, whereas hardware manufacturers are having difficulties. They put all of their money in up front, and HOPE for a return. This has burned BB for a while.

Businesses that think of their workers like 'consumers' are poorly run, in my opinion. Productivity is what matters. If my employees are whiny because they insist on being provided less productive equipment so that can use said equipment to play Candy Crush or gossip on Twitter at home, then I don't want them as employees. And with greater productivity, my company will out-compete those other companies in my sector. BlackBerry (BES) shops will win enterprise, in the end, not because of device popularity, but because of the focus on providing the most secure, productive solution. If they can't deliver on this one thing then they are lost.

Posted via CB10

That isnt why employees are complaining. Updating entire fleets of devices is on a 2-5 year life cycle. Technology changes very rapidly, and users are left out. Many many many corporations are still running OS 6, MAYBE OS 7 devices for many users. Compare a 9650 to a Z10, iPhone 5s, or Galaxy S4. You can see why employees want devices faster. BYOD is the easiest, and most cost effective means for this. Support a wide range of devices you CAN secure, and put it on the user to purchase one. It keeps users happy and allows them to be more productive with devices that are current technology.

I kinda misread the title the first time. Glad BlackBerry adds their security advantage to non BB devices.

For now BlackBerry will be the engine running non BB devices (BES and Apple car thinghy running on QNX).

It's all good :)

Posted via CB10

Let's not forget that many companies have been holding back or out right avoiding implementing BES10/12. Without BES10/12 there are no BB10 devices in some organizations. So this is great news as it might encourage more companies to adopt BES10/12 and then users can bring BB10 devices to BYOD sites.

I work for a company with more than 10,000 BBOS7 devices which only has BES5. Users have been switching to DROID and iOS for nee devices. Most are waiting but BB7 devices are getting very challenging to use.

Maybe now mgmt might finally implement BES10/12.

This us absolutely great news and IMHO will in certain cases increase the # if BB10 devices. If course the revenue for iOS and DROID is most welcomed.

I see this as mostly positive news.

Posted via CB10

Right on. The important thing for BB here is to keep BES as the enterprise solution. Services make lots of money; hardware not so much. Most critical though, is that BES supports BlackBerry hardware whereas Good and MobileIron do not. If a company switches MDM away from BES, that means that BlackBerry handsets will NEVER be on their networks. With BES, the option is there to go back to BB gear from the currently more popular smartphones. BlackBerry cannot afford another "barrier to entry" by losing the MDM battle

Handset sales are where they have been losing cash for a long time. Services are mostly profit. This is a big move for them and one they needed.

probably too late to worry about that. I'll carry a BB until the bitter end, but I feel like it's going to be sooner rather than later if there isn't some giant 'event' (read: breach) that changes public perception about the current leading platforms

I would rather live in a world where BES is FIPS 140-2 for iOS and Android than in one where it is not.

Like it or not many companies are switching to these devices. Why not have an additional revenue stream for BlackBerry. I love the flexibility this offers and should further entrench them as the Enterprise solution provider of choice.

I get my new z30 for work (government) next week. For the first time ever we can now pick from some non-blackberry devices (obviously they've implemented BES10), but the general sentiment is confusion...i.e. "Why on earth would you want an IPhone for work?"...I think BlackBerry is finally turning the corner....

Posted via CB10

+1 love reading news like this!

Posted while peeking and flowing on my incredible BBQ10! 

This is great news for BlackBerry as far as BES goes.
Just like the continual updates to BBM is good news for BlackBerry as far as BBM goes.
IMO, this puts a tremendous amount of pressure on BlackBerry to up their game in the handset division (yes I know Foxconn is building them) but they still say BlackBerry, and people will buy or not buy them based on the BlackBerry name, not because Foxconn built them. They need to keep developing BB10, and guide Foxconn to building awesome looking devices.

I have no doubt they can, and ARE doing all they can. Chen is the man.

Making a BES version to end consumers who care about security should be the right move.

via  Z30

Despite the stupid focking haters/naysayers and trolllers with intent, this is good news. :)

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

Sounds great to me, hook the people on BES and eventually switch them to BlackBerry. Give a few BlackBerry 10 devices to test and I am sure most people would want to switch.

Posted via CB10

With BBM and this, Chen us doing what his SAP buddy Leo attempted to do with HP. Hardware and BB10 are on a death watch.. software and services will be all BlackBerry does soon.

Posted via CB10

This is a huge progression on the part of Blackberry n BES. I think we will start seeing a lot more converts from other companies over time. This is a great move and I dont feel this will negatively impact blackberry devices but rather complement it.

Blackberry, my proverbial middle finger

We have the best security! Let's give it to Android and Iphone, since people get more of their phones anyway, so people will switch phones!! And then wonder what happened. Nice logic

Posted via CB10

They won't tell you this, but it already looks like they are transitioning away from their own devices. That's what Sprint won't even give me sh it. Don't release a phone if you don't plan on releasing what comes with it.

Posted via CB10

As long as BlackBerry stays one step ahead of the competition in security, we are good.

Let Apple and Google battle it out in the toy-app and device arena, we need to focus on where the true solidarity and margin is.

Very good news. Don't forget that to get government contracts as a vendor of record, there are strict mandatory requirements. These contracts don't last forever and will be up for another bid when the contracts are up and may vary among different agencies. So even let's say if some have selected other services and hardware (e.g. Good or MobileIron MDM with iOS/iPhone and Android/Motorola), BlackBerry gets in for the next procurement cycle where now you can use BlackBerry with BB10/BlackBerry with iOS/iPhone, Android/Motorola & Nokia X, Windows/Nokia. Benefit of sticking to all BlackBerry with BES10x, software and hardware? Deal with one company that owns and knows their software, hardware and services that bake in the corporate requirements right in. Stick to BB and you get to have segregated and fully secure work and personal profiles in one device. Devices made to last and a modern OS that is flexible and made to last. Choose from our lineup of Q10, Q20, Z10, Z30 models. Oh hardware cost is a factor? Try our Q5 and Z3 lineup. Oh need a communication service that provides real-time instant messaging, VOIP, and video conferencing with high availability over multiple platforms/devices in your BYOD environment? Give eBBM a try! Keep it up BlackBerry! Set that strategy and execute!

Posted via CB10

This seems to be where Chen is taking BlackBerry for the moment and it's pretty smart. Let Enterprise be the come to for securing devices and the rest will follow. The margins involved with Enterprise is huge and will profit the company greatly, in the interim fix the mis perception on the hardware side of business. With Software development being a priority now this is where the profitability exists for the return of BlackBerry to the top. Hardware will follow.

Posted via CB10

Great news BlackBerry, good to see a logical strategy implemented and successful. Becoming number 1 in a field not many other manufacturers are concentrating on is a hell of a way to take initiative. Keep up the good work.