Dual-identity smart phones coming

One of the advantages Research In Motion touts to corporations in marking devices running its BlackBerry operating system is better security than competitors.

Not only can data be encrypted, RIM also offers BlackBerry Balance for organizations running BlackBerry Enterprise Server or Mobile Fusion, which gives the ability to separate work and personal data on the handsets. That way users can securely keep corporate and personal information away from each other. If a device is lost IT departments can remotely wipe the corporate sector and leave the user’s personal data alone.

However, according to a story in ComputerWorld U.S., handsets running other operating systems will soon be able to offer a similar ability. This poses another challenge to RIM in the BYOD era.

(Dual identity capability could be available on smartphones like this Windows 8 Phone-powered Nokia 920)

The way it will be done is to virtualize the operating system so the handset runs two instances of the OS.

It’s a logical answer to BlackBerry Balance. Whether it’s just as easy to manage isn’t clear yet because the solutions have yet to hit the market. But it will give IT managers more choices to ensure greater security.

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