BlackBerry devices and government organizations flow together so easily, it's almost as though the two were meant to be. The choice from government organizations to use BlackBerry devices as their primary means of communications is not only a testimony of the portability and security of the BlackBerry device; but it is also a testimony of something RIM got right.
Although the competition has been trying their best to enter into the world of the federal mobile device market, they all have fallen short of the underlying requirements; security. Yes, it's that word again security. Tired of hearing about it? Some may be, but the federal government is not. Security has to be and will be the number one concern when it comes to big government IT, and a large chunk or government IT is mobile device management.
This is an area where RIM has gotten it right from the beginning, and it seems as though the competition, Apple, Android have gone backwards in regards to security. Just take a look at the latest issue with LinkedIn's iOS application
, in which it leaks sensitive user information as the app communicates with LinkedIn's servers. Malware on Android devices have spiked significantly over the past year and are only getting worse. The point here is that security can't be ignored, brushed off, or poorly practice in any type of government organization.
What BlackBerry Has To Offer
BlackBerry smartphones with FIPS 140-2 validation, are already prepped by design to work in a government organization and meet DOD requirements. Having out of the box organizational requirements is already a step above the competition. AES point-to-point encryption along with a BES server ensures that data gets from point A to B with no outside interference. The S/MIME support package can add an additional one-two punch that can make data even more secure. Lets not forget to mention PGP and the BlackBerry Smart Card Reader. That's a mouth full of security protocols that would leave any security researcher wanting to do their research on some other platform and any hacker thinking twice before they tried to intercept data. IT management do not have to lobby to their superiors to purchase even more expensive hardware and software to meet their organizations requirements.
Eliminate the Middleman
Now days with the nasty trend of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) to work, IT admins are scrambling to get a grasp on all of these rouge devices entering into their domain. The BYOD philosophy simply does not work in a truly secure environment, and frankly does not even belong there. The problem with the BYOD mentality is that it creates new issues to deal with like the poor level of mobile security across other smartphone. Using BlackBerry devices can ensure uniformity and complete control over mobile devices within an organization.
The BlackBerry just works in big government. It fits right like it was supposed to be there from day one. According to RIM's Senior Vice President for BlackBerry security Scott Totzke, RIM has had more that 400,000 government devices upgraded to OS 7 over the last year. Although the over all market upgrades to OS 7 have been slow, this number shows that BlackBerry is still quite dominant in within the government.