BlackBerry (BBRY) has secured the coveted Authority to Operate (ATO) authorization on U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) networks, a stamp of approval the mobile device maker quickly hailed as the first mobile device management (MDM) provider to attain the security clearance.
Specifically, the U.S. Defense Information System Agency (DISA) has rubber-stamped the BlackBerry touchscreen Z10 and Q10 keyboard-enabled smartphones running the MDM service BlackBerry Enterprise Service (BES) 10 with the highest level security certification on DoD networks.
With the go-ahead ATO on BlackBerry devices, DISA already has moved to build the infrastructure to support the some 10,000 BlackBerry 10 smartphones by this fall and an additional 30,000 by the end of the year on the DoD networks, officials said.
“Being the first smartphones to be supported on U.S. Department of Defense networks further establishes BlackBerry’s proven and validated security model,” said Scott Totzke, BlackBerry Security Group senior vice president.
“With foreign entities—governmental and criminal—ramping up attacks on electronic communications and information systems, BlackBerry provides government agencies with a proven partner that follows top-to-bottom security protocols,” he said.
Receiving the ATO is an important step in the overall security certification process for BlackBerry smartphones to gain approval to run on government and military networks. BlackBerry said the authorization not only validates that its BlackBerry 10-based smartphones meet DoD’s security requirements but also verifies that military personnel will be able to access secure networks from any location using its technology.
Last November, BlackBerry landed the Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 140-2 certification that enabled government agencies to deploy BlackBerry 10-based devices and BES 10, which set up the vendor for the higher-level security clearance.
Two months ago, BlackBerry added to its iOS and Android support when it released Secure Work Space as an add-on to BES 10, offering a BYOD solution tying together security, user experience and total cost of ownership.