Next BlackBerry tablet is aimed at government

Next BlackBerry tablet is aimed at government

The latest BlackBerry tablet isn’t altogether a BlackBerry. Instead it’s Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 laden with security features and aimed squarely at government and other high security users.

BlackBerry’s SecuTablet is a new secure tablet outfitted with technology components from BlackBerry, Samsung, IBM and Secusmart, a German encryption company acquired by BlackBerry last year.

The SecuTablet is designed for the public sector market where data is subject to special security requirements, but it allows personal apps “or those not additionally secured,” to be used, the company said.

The tablet, which was presented at the CeBIT 2015 computer conference in Dusseldorf, is a hybrid of technologies. It is based on the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 tablet and uses Samsung’s Knox secure boot technology to ensure the security of the operating system.

Secusmart provides a MicroSD card encrypted to secure data in motion and at rest. And IBM provides the secure app wrapping technology, which assists in implementing the Secusmart cryptographic chips.

The SecuTablet supplements the SecuSuite features  for the BlackBerry 10 smartphone portfolio, which can be integrated into existing SecuSuite  platforms.

In announcing the new tablet, BlackBerry touted its pubic sector credibility, saying it is the only mobile device management vendor that has achieved the “full operational capability level of certification for operating on Department of Defense networks.”

The solution is now undergoing certification at the German Federal Office of Information Security for the German classified security rating.

“National and international government customers have entrusted their voice and data communications with the Secusmart Security Card for years,” said Hans-Christoph Quelle, CEO of Secusmart. “This same technology is what secures the new SecuTablet.”

“The SecuTABLET closes a supply gap and opens up for government and administrations an opportunity to derive greater benefit from digitization and the mobile Internet, with system integration as a fundamental success factor,” said Stefan Hefter, senior management consultant with IBM.

It will let agencies control which apps can run on the tablet and whether the apps must be wrapped. The wrapping process ensures that data can be secured at rest, in motion or in use,  Hefter told the IDG News Service. Users will be able to personal apps, including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, on the same device used to work on classified information.

Such high security features don’t come cheap. A fully loaded SecuTablet will cost  about $2,380, including the the Secusmart MicroSD encryption card, app-wrapping and management software and a one year maintenance contract, Hefter said.

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