RIM: Consumerisation won’t hurt BlackBerry security

The BlackBerry maker insists that handsets aimed at consumers will retain all the security features that business users have been using for years.

BlackBerry

The increasing focus of Research in Motion (RIM) on the consumer smartphone space will not trigger a change in attitude or softening of device security, according to a senior executive at the firm.

Scott Totzke, vice president of BlackBerry security at RIM, spoke today to IT PRO at the ISSE security conference in Madrid. He said that the BlackBerry security model will not change between handsets, with new consumer users experiencing the same security benefits that business users have had since the inception of the BlackBerry platform.

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This will continue with new models like the BlackBerry Bold, upcoming clamshell and touch screen models, and the BlackBerry Javelin that we recently exclusively revealed.

"I don't think consumers are any less concerned about security. It might be unconscious for them right now but time and time again you see people buying devices off eBay and getting personal information," Totzke said.

"Not only can you find corporate information on these devices but there is also information about marital affairs personal and private information that people don't generally want to be exposed."

Totzke said that as consumers are gradually exposed to the BlackBerry platform and other smartphones, security would become just as necessary for them as it is for business users.

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When questioned about the more open mobile operating platforms such as Symbian, Linux and Google Android, he said that RIM was building on the concept of being more open and extensible. However, he added that there were going to be security risks like the ones associated with the PC world.

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"Today you can't say here's a smartphone that's got 90 per cent market share with an operating system we can attack'. There are too many players in the mobile space today," Totzke said. "But as things consolidate, you might find that there are one or two dominant operating systems and then we might be set up for PC-style [platform] attacks."

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