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'Chasing' Security In A Connected World

John Chen

Originally published by John Chen on LinkedIn: 'Chasing' Security In A Connected World

Over the past three years BlackBerry has gone through a transformation.  We have become a software company, licensed hardware operations and defined a new market category called the Enterprise of Things (EoT). 

EoT is a relatively new term to most people, so I will provide some context.  In most industries the enterprise market is bigger than the consumer market; the Internet of Things (IoT) is no exception.  IDC valued spend on IoT in 2016 at $737 billion, with most of that spend occurring in enterprise.  This is why when it comes to ‘Things’, BlackBerry is focused on enterprise.  We call this the EoT market and it is a market that we are uniquely qualified to address and are leaders in today.   

For EoT to be successful security is a must have component.  It is the baseline, without which EoT will falter.  No ifs, no buts.  It is a market that requires security as an unequivocal standard.  The stakes are high.  Last year cybercrime cost the global economy $450 billion and over 2 billion personal records were stolen.  Gartner expects that 25% of enterprise security attacks will be because of connected Things by 2020, affecting the company that is compromised and any individuals whose data is involved. 

Having said that, the question that is most often asked about connected Things is, whether a securely connected world is really possible?  A securely connected EoT is possible and BlackBerry is already demonstrating how.  

At BlackBerry, security has been our number one priority from day one.  With that comes over 30 years of security heritage, security built into our chipsets, a large and growing portfolio of security IP, recognition by industry experts as being the leaders in security, the trust of all of the G7 and 15 of the G20 governments who use BlackBerry software and that is to name just a few proof points of how we make security our DNA. 

There is more.  Whilst there is much conversation on the topic of cybersecurity there is no agreed framework of what ‘good’ looks like.  At BlackBerry, we are defining what the cybersecurity standard is.  Without this construct, market adoption of connected Things will be unlikely to grow as forecast, as businesses and individuals will be increasingly guarded about their privacy and data security. 

There are of course other unknowns associated with the proliferation of connected Things; security is not the only question.  Another unknown is what connected Things will mean for net neutrality.  This topic is already a hot one, with companies and governments eager to capitalize on the Internet platform that exists even today.  What happens as EoT becomes more widespread, making data more valuable?  We will most likely see a rise in data being exchanged for commercial gain, creating a struggle of network neutrality.  There is also the question of who owns the data; is it the individual, an enterprise or the government?

We are invested in bringing EoT to everyone.  Our solutions are now platform agnostic, so they are not limited to the BlackBerry OS, and we have expanded our proposition so that BlackBerry is not just the smart in smartphones, it is "the smart in everyThing".  That includes cars, wearables, medical devices, asset trackers and more.  Additive to that our model is scalable, so BlackBerry’s ability to secure, connect and mobilize can be expanded to all endpoints.

Our mission for EoT is to connect all endpoints within the enterprise, enabling frictionless and secure workflows, as enterprises increasingly look for cross-functional integration at the data level.  The BlackBerry Secure platform addresses the connectivity, mobility and security needs of enterprises across markets, including financial, government, legal, medical and auto.  Did you know, for example, that BlackBerry software is in over 60 million connected cars today and we are testing solutions that secure and connect self-driving cars on the road today? 

We are committed to making BlackBerry grade security available to everyone, to protect your data and your privacy, without platform or endpoint bias.  In the future, you will see EoT blur with IoT, as frictionless workflows converge with consumer lives, and BlackBerry is ready for that.  It will be work/life balance at its best, with BlackBerry security as the standard. 

So to answer the question, ‘Is a securely connected world really possible?’.  Yes it is and, not only is it possible, it is a category that BlackBerry is bringing definition to and providing leadership in.  We recognize that security is a cat and mouse game, requiring constant investment and innovation and that is what we do, day in, day out. 

Remember that Tom & Jerry teach us that it is the chase that keeps life interesting.

John Chen

Executive Chairman & CEO, BlackBerry