NATO selects BlackBerry’s encrypted voice technology; firm creates U.S. subsidiary
By StaffNews Industry News
WATERLOO, Ont. – BlackBerry Ltd. has announced that the NATO Communications and Information (NCI) Agency has awarded a contract for BlackBerry’s SecuSUITE for Government to encrypt the conversations of its technology and cyber leaders.
BlackBerry says the NCI Agency helps NATO’s 29 member-nations communicate securely, acquiring, deploying and defending communication systems for NATO’s political decision-makers and command centres. Due to the classified nature of the information the NCI Agency handles, it is critical that all their communications remain secure, combatting any opportunity for a cybercriminal to electronically eavesdrop on conversations.
“As cybercriminals and state-sponsored actors become increasingly more sophisticated, we needed a highly-secure way for our cyber leaders to have phone conversations with people inside and outside of our organization regardless of where they are in the world,” said Kevin Scheid, general manager of the NCI Agency, in a prepared statement. “BlackBerry’s voice encryption technology helps solve this challenge and strengthens our elite cyber-defence strategy.”
“Eavesdropping on calls is one of the easiest ways to gain access to private information,” said Christoph Erdmann, SVP of BlackBerry Secusmart. “We are extremely proud that the NCI Agency, a world leader in the development and use of technology that keeps NATO nations secure, has put its trust in BlackBerry’s software to secure their voice communication. No matter the operating system or ‘thing’ used to communicate, BlackBerry’s arsenal of cybersecurity technology ensures our customers’ data remains private.”
BlackBerry’s SecuSUITE for Government supports Android and iOS smartphones and tablets, and can be installed on-premise, in a data centre or in the cloud. Use cases for the solution include:
• Secure conferencing: encrypts conversations between a secure conference bridge and a SecuSUITE for Government-enabled device.
• Secure landing: encrypts mobile devices to a landline within a network.
• Break-in: protects any communication between a mobile or landline on the user’s home network to a SecuSUITE for Government-enabled mobile device.
• Break-out: secures mobile devices to the employee’s home network and from there to external mobile or landlines through PSTN extension.
BlackBerry has also announced the creation of a new independent wholly-owned subsidiary to serve the U.S. government.
BlackBerry Government Solutions is headquartered in Washington, D.C, and has a separate corporate governance structure from BlackBerry Ltd. to comply with U.S. national security requirements.
“A tidal wave of connected devices is in sight and I believe BlackBerry is uniquely positioned to help the U.S. government securely build and connect all ‘things’ from ATVs and drones to documents, emails and the data that flows between,” said John Chen, executive chairman and CEO, BlackBerry.
BlackBerry says it is the provider of security and data privacy for nearly all of the U.S. Cabinet and federal departments, including the Department of Defense, Department of Energy, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, Department of Transportation, Department of Treasury and Department of Veterans Affairs.
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