BlackBerry eases the burden of sending secure messages

Research in Motion Ltd. of Waterloo, Ontario, has integrated a secure messaging server with its BlackBerry Enterprise Server to simplify the task of sending sensitive messages from its handheld devices.

By passing secured messages through to the Entelligence Messaging Server from Entrust Inc. of Addison, Texas, users of BlackBerry handhelds no longer have to manage the digital certificates on their own.

'This is something that was driven by our government customers,' said Leah MacMillan, Entrust vice president of products and solutions.

The BlackBerry paging and messaging devices are widely used in government, where there is high demand for securing sensitive traffic.

Entrust has provided digital certificates for secure BlackBerry traffic for several years. The handheld devices encrypt messages, but end users must manage the digital certificates for the recipients. The messaging server now can provide centralized certificate management and policy enforcement. It also determines the format of the outgoing e-mail, depending on whether the recipient has a Secure/Multipurpose Internet Mail Extension or a Web e-mail account.

Off-loading these chores simplifies the job of sending secure messages, especially to multiple recipients or to recipients outside the sender's domain.

RIM used Entrust application programming interfaces to modify its BlackBerry Enterprise Server to direct messages being sent with certificates to the messaging server. Traffic routed to the messaging server can be decrypted at that point for scanning if necessary. It is re-encrypted before being sent on to the recipient.

About the Author

William Jackson is a Maryland-based freelance writer.

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