BlackBerry this week announced it will be working with the U.S. government to both enhance the federal emergency mass notification framework and to be the security platform of choice within the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD).
The company has officially signed two multi-million dollar security contract orders with the U.S. federal government. Blackberry has also achieved STIG (Security Technical Implementation Guide) approval, meaning the company’s security platform is certified for the highest level of requirements for regulated industries. The Waterloo-based mobile communications firm will provide its BlackBerry AtHoc crisis communications software, the multi-OS EMM platform BES12 and the latest BlackBerry OS 10.3.2 for smartphones for use at the U.S. DoD.
The DISA STIGs comprise a library of documents that illustrate how computing devices should be configured to maximize security, the company said. There are more than 400 STIGs at present, each describing how a specific application, operating system, network device or smartphone should be configured.
The BlackBerry AtHoc platform, for example, allows the U.S. Coast Guard to extend its emergency notification system and enable the National Capitol Region’s 50,000 employees to access alerts via computer or mobile device.
The latest approval from the DoD shows that the BlackBerry secure platform is designed to meet their priorities, said David Kleidermacher, Chief Security Officer at BlackBerry in a statement.
Last month, BlackBerry CEO John Chen said the company is making a shift away from its traditional handset business to focus on its software division, particularly the enterprise mobile management, enterprise, secure communications, and technology solutions markets, with an aim for 30 per cent growth.
While the announcement reflects this renewed strategy, it remains to be seen if BlackBerry can reassert itself within a tightening mobile communications space dominated by iOS and Android.
“We’re going to have to see a lot of these types of deals from them going forward to really get the sense that they are moving in the right direction,” IDC Corp. analyst Phil Hochmuth told Reuters.com.