updated 06:03 am EST, Thu November 8, 2012
RIM scores key win with security certification for BB10 OS
Embattled Canadian handset maker RIM has scored a key win for its BlackBerry 10 OSim, gaining security clearance for use in both US and Canadian government agencies. The FIPS (Federal Information Processing Standard) 140-2 certification is awarded to operating systems that meet the standards required for secure and encrypted data storage on devices. When RIM's BlackBerry 10 handsets go on sale in Q1 2013, they will be permitted for use in sensitive environments immediately, also making them attractive to enterprise markets as well.
"Achieving FIPS 140-2 certification means that BlackBerry 10 is ready to meet the strict security requirements of government agencies and enterprises at launch," said RIM vice president of security product management, David McFarlane. "Achieving FIPS certification for an entirely new platform in a very short period of time, and before launch, is quite remarkable," he added. Neither Apple's iOS or Google's Android OS have won the certification at this time. Provided RIM gets its BlackBerry 10 products to market without further delay, it may be positioned to pick up key governemnt contracts worth tens of millions of dollars.
The certification means that RIM's BlackBerry 10 handsets can be used to handle documents with a security classification of "Restricted" or below. They cannot be used to handle documents marked "Top Secret," however. RIM began carrier testing of its new handsets last month. The FIPS certification will give the Ontario-based company a much needed morale boost in the face of rapidly declining sales as both consumer and enterprise markets rapidly adopt devices running either iOS or Android. [via CNET]