When it comes to handling highly sensitive data, RIM’s BlackBerry smartphone is the one to go for, a new report by the UK Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) has suggested.
The report was produced by the National Technical Authority for Information Assurance at GCHQ, the CESG, in collaboration with the telecoms industry, and it included various other leading brands like Apple’s iPhone, Nokia, Windows Mobile and many more, with the RIM BlackBerry topping the list. Also, a “smartphone security guidance” was issued for public sector workers on the basis of this study.
A CESG spokesman told ITPro, “These security procedures cover architectural issues (such as recommended network layout, recommendations for operational monitoring), configuration advice, user education and training suggestions, and information on residual risks that senior risk owners will need to take into account.”
There is no official comment from RIM at the time of this writing, but many supporters of the BlackBerry spoke up on its behalf.
(RIM sent us this statement shortly afterwards. “BlackBerry is proud to remain the only smartphone solution approved for the communication of classified information in UK Government. Because of the security of our platform, BlackBerry smartphones have been deployed widely in the Public Sector and we have helped enable public sector organisations to deliver more efficient and effective services as highlighted in our work with the UK Police Service where we have helped Forces save £112m.")
“The BlackBerry platform remains, in my opinion, the leader in this respect, providing the highest levels of assurance without the added cost or complexity of needing to bring third-party software into the equation,” said Nick McQuire, director for enterprise mobility at analyst house IDC.
However, it will be wrong to assume that the Blackberry devices are totally infallible, the recent successful hack of the Torch 9800 at the Pwn2Own hacking contest being clear evidence of this fact.