BlackBerry has won a major security contract with the U.S. government. The Canadian company announced today that it is now authorized to sell security tools to the US. The tools that BlackBerry will sell include encrypting tools for both phone and text messages. This is a major feather in BlackBerry’s cap, but not one that is overly surprising.
First and Foremost a Security Company
BlackBerry has really always been a company steeped in security. The company originally won over the phone market with its BlackBerry Messenger service (then coined as BBM) for being the one truly secure messaging app. Even though BlackBerry didn’t fare well in the past ten years with the smartphone market, the company has been actively working on security tools.
A Need for More Security
The U.S. government has been very worried about security lately, which is why it put out bids to various software companies seeking security tools that could stand up to today’s cyberattacks. BlackBerry bid on these contracts and now has been awarded the opportunity to provide the government with its newest security features.
The tools that BlackBerry will sell to the U.S. government are based on a company that was purchased by BlackBerry back in 2014. That company, Secusmart, was the one to protect German chancellor, Angela Merkel’s, phone after suspicions that the NSA was tapping it. Secusmart technology includes both a phone encryption software and messaging encryption software.
More Secure Than WhatsApp?
As far as tools that the general public has access to, WhatsApp is (arguably) the most secure messaging service. However, WhatsApp has come under some scrutiny lately since the company is owned by Facebook (which doesn’t have a good reputation as far as security is concerned).
So while the government won’t be using BBM as we once knew it, BlackBerry will presumably combine its newly acquired technology from Secusmart with the Canadian company’s own security technology (not too shabby in its own right). Whether or not the U.S government will actively implement this technology (or how) remains to be seen.
No Longer Competing With Apple?
Even though Apple far surpassed BlackBerry as far as smartphone sales go, Apple hasn’t won any contracts for encrypting messaging or phone options with the U.S. government. Since BlackBerry is now solely focusing on security, you might say that BlackBerry is no longer competing with Apple - at least not on the smartphone level.
BlackBerry did note a few years ago that the company would only focus on security, and that, indeed, is the direction that the company has gone in.
What’s next for Canada’s beloved tech company? More security it seems. Rumour has it that BlackBerry is working on some additional security software for various companies. Whether or not the company will offer any of that technology to the public hasn’t been revealed yet, but the BlackBerry would have tough competition in the consumer messenger security sphere.
Security, it seems, is what BlackBerry has always been great at.