BlackBerry has launched a platform designed for the Enterprise of Things. The platform is designed to be the foundation that drives a company’s move to the cloud, enabling it to address the entire enterprise from endpoint to endpoint.
Data breaches and cybersecurity threats are some of the biggest roadblocks to realizing the greatest potential of the Enterprise of Things, which BlackBerry defines as the network of intelligent connections and endpoints within the enterprise that enable products to move from sketch to scale. It is a collection of devices, computers, sensors, trackers, equipment and other “things” that communicate with each other to enable smart product development, distribution, marketing and sales.
“Businesses must be able to confidentially and reliably transmit sensitive data between endpoints to keep people, information and goods safe,” said John Chen, Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, BlackBerry. “BlackBerry is uniquely qualified to address this emerging market now because of our deep experience, industry leadership and ongoing product innovation that addresses future business needs.”
The totality of the BlackBerry solution is called BlackBerry Secure and is grounded in the company’s mobile software security platform. It helps companies manage and secure their mobile devices and connected things and secures communications for all messaging and file types – ultimately opening up new markets for BlackBerry where multiple endpoint mobile security management and applications are critical. For example, BlackBerry’s platform helps to prevent hackers from penetrating devices and computers, provide intelligence for highly secure supply chain communications, ensure patient confidentiality in healthcare and safeguard assets in the financial industry.
Chen added, “Our customers’ investments are protected because this foundational platform is not only compatible with our current products and third-party software like Microsoft Office 365, but is also ‘future-proofed’ to address upcoming capabilities such as messaging and analytics. It allows customers to build their own apps, workflows and business processes, and will be compatible with future applications and cloud-based systems because we have plans to expand the platform’s features, market segments it supports, and our entire partner ecosystem.”
In addition to more than 80 security certifications, BlackBerry recently ranked the highest in all six use cases of Gartner’s “Critical Capabilities for High-Security Mobility Management” report. The company’s heritage in security has led to the following products that meet the highest security and regulatory requirements, accelerate key business processes and reduce total cost of ownership – ultimately giving organizations complete confidence in their endpoint management:
· BlackBerry UEM (formerly BES12) – Provides the granular control and visibility that IT needs to secure all endpoints, along with the flexibility to support a wide array of productivity and other business use cases. BlackBerry UEM supports all major OS platforms (Android for Work, Samsung KNOX, iOS, Windows 10, OS X and BlackBerry 10) and device ownership models with a single console. It also supports native MDM controls for managing device policies and MAM capabilities for deploying approved business apps.
· BlackBerry Dynamics (formerly Good Dynamics) – Delivers a foundation for secure enterprise mobility by offering an advanced, mature development platform and container for mobile apps. BlackBerry Dynamics is designed to eliminate the risk of data leakage by delivering proven security at the app level. It is also flexible enough to support a vast and ever-changing set of apps, workflows, and business processes.
· BlackBerry Workspaces (formerly WatchDox) – Enables users to share, edit and control their files on every device with the highest level of security due to embedded digital rights management (DRM) protection in the files.
· BlackBerry 2FA (formerly Strong Authentication) – Allows users to replace the cost and hassle of a physical token and typing in codes with the simplicity of acknowledging a prompt on their secured mobile device for two-factor authentication.
· BlackBerry Enterprise Identity – Enables users to Single Sign-on (SSO) into a variety of third-party cloud services such as Office 365, Box, Dropbox, Workday and Salesforce. Even more compelling is Mobile Zero Sign-on (MZSO), where simply unlocking the phone grants transparent access to services without requiring a password.
· BlackBerry SDK – Allows application developers to easily integrate any BlackBerry service (i.e., BlackBerry UEM, BlackBerry Workspaces and BlackBerry Dynamics) into their applications via a Platform-as-a-Service model.
As part of BlackBerry’s platform, the company is launching a new portfolio of business-class applications designed for the mobile-first work environment. Available in January, the apps outlined below are simple for IT to deploy and provide a seamless experience across smartphones, tablets and PCs:
· BlackBerry Work (formerly Good Work) – Offers a secure, intuitive and integrated collaboration experience. It combines email, calendar, contacts, presence, document access, document editing and more, allowing organizations to mobilize their workforce effectively.
· BlackBerry Access (formerly Good Access) – Gives your organization the ability to confidently enable mobile access to a broad range of web apps and intranet resources containing sensitive information.
· BlackBerry Connect (formerly Good Connect) – Accelerates decision-making by allowing employees to securely connect and collaborate in real time on their choice of mobile device.
· BlackBerry Share (formerly Good Share) – Allows employees to safely share documents and other content while on the go, on any device.
· BlackBerry Tasks (formerly Good Tasks) – Provides the ability to securely create, open and prioritize tasks synchronized with Microsoft Exchange.
· BlackBerry Notes – Enables users to stay on top of business workflows by creating, editing and maintaining a tile-view list of notes.
Get your passwords in shape
New Year’s resolutions should extend to getting password protection sorted out, writes Carey van Vlaanderen, CEO at ESET Southern Africa.
Many of us have entered the new year with a boat load of New Year’s resolutions. Doing more exercise, fixing unhealthy eating habits and saving more money are all highly respectable goals, but could it be that they don’t go far enough in an era with countless apps and sites that scream for letting them help you reach your personal goals.
Now, you may want to add a few weightier and yet effortless habits on top of those well-worn choices. Here are a handful of tips for ‘exercises’ that will go good for your cyber-fitness.
I won’t pass up on stubborn passwords
Passwords have a bad rap, and deservedly so: they suffer from weaknesses, both in terms of security and convenience, that make them a less-than-ideal method of authentication. However, much of what the internet offers is independent on your singing up for this or that online service, and the available form of authentication almost universally happens to the username/password combination.
As the keys that open online accounts (not to speak of many devices), passwords are often rightly thought of as the first – alas, often only – line of defence that protects your virtual and real assets from intruders. However, passwords don’t offer much in the way of protection unless, in the first place, they’re strong and unique to each device and account.
But what constitutes a strong password? A passphrase! Done right, typical passphrases are generally both more secure and more user-friendly than typical passwords. The longer the passphrase and the more words it packs the better, with seven words providing for a solid start. With each extra character (not to mention words), the number of possible combinations rises exponentially, which makes simple brute-force password-cracking attacks far less likely to succeed, if not well-nigh impossible (assuming, of course, that the service in question does not impose limitations on password input length – something that is, sadly, far too common).
Click here to read about making secure passwords by not using dictionary words, using two-factor authentication, and how biometrics are coming to
Code Week prepares 2.3m young Africans for future
By SUNIL GENESS, Director Government Relations & CSR, Global Digital Government, at SAP Africa.
On January 6th, 2019, news broke of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa’s plans to announce a new approach to education in his second State of the Nation address, including:
- A universal roll-out of tablets for all pupils in the country’s 23 700 primary and secondary schools
- Computer coding and robotics classes for the foundation-phase pupils from grade 1-3 and the
- Digitisation of the entire curriculum, , including textbooks, workbooks and all teacher support material.
With this, the President has shown South Africa’s response to a global challenge: equipping our youth with the skills they’ll need to survive and thrive in the 21st century digital economy.
Africa’s working-age population will increase to 600 million in 2030 from a base of 370 million in 2010.
In South Africa, unemployment stands at 26.7 percent, but is much more pronounced among youths: 52.2 percent of the country’s 15-24-year-olds are looking for work.
As an organisation deeply invested in South Africa and its future, SAP has developed and implemented a range of initiatives aimed at fostering digital skills development among the country’s youth, including:
AFRICA CODE WEEK
Since its launch in 2015, Africa Code Week has introduced more than 4 million African youth to basic coding.
In 2018, more than 2.3 million youth across 37 countries took part in Africa Code Week.
The digital skills development initiative’s focus on building local capacity for sustainable learning resulted in close to 23 000 teachers being trained in the run-up to the October 2018 events.
Vital to the success of Africa Code Week is the close support it receives from a broad spectrum of public and private sector institutions, including UNESCO YouthMobile, Google, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Cape Town Science Centre, the Camden Education Trust, 28 African governments, over 130 implementing partners and 120 ambassadors across the continent.
SAP’s efforts to drive digital skills development on the African continent forms part of a broader organisational commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, specifically Goal 4 (“Ensure quality and inclusive education for all”)
A core component of Africa Code Week is to encourage female participation in STEM-related skills development activities: in 2018, more than 46% of all Africa Code Week participants were female.
According to Africa Code Week Global Coordinator Sunil Geness, female representation in STEM-related fields among African businesses currently stands at 30%, “requiring powerful public-private partnerships to start turning the tide and creating more equitable opportunities for African youth to contribute to the continent’s economic development and success”.
Click here to read more about the Skills for Africa graduate training programme, and about the LEGO League.