Just as Samsung Electronics was taking the wraps off the Galaxy S4 smartphone on Thursday – its first phone with Samsung Knox to create separate and secure personal and work personas – BlackBerry was previewing a competing service for both iOS and Android handsets.
Called Secure Work Space, it builds on the BlackBerry Balance feature of BlackBerry 10 that lets a user create secure work and personal personas on their Blackberry handset, so that their boss can’t see their vacation photos, and IT can secure work files and, if necessary, remotely wipe them if you leave the company. The new offering from BlackBerry, Secure WorkSpace, is managed by Blackberry Enterprise Service 10 and extends this same capability to iOS and Android devices that are being managed by IT using the service.
This feature will soon be included in a platform update, and seeks to extend one of BlackBerry’s key selling features – security – to other handsets managed by BlackBerry Enterprise Service. It includes secured client applications for email, calendar, contacts, tasks, memos, secure browsing and document editing.
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“With BlackBerry Balance technology, we offer the industry’s only true compromise-free separation of work and personal data and applications,” said David J Smith, executive vice-president of enterprise mobile computing for Blackberry, in a statement. “With Secure Work Space for iOS and Android devices, we’re extending as many of these features as possible to other platforms, critical in today’s Bring Your Own Device world. BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 offers administrators a single, intuitive platform enabling them to effectively and securely manage a variety of devices while protecting their corporate assets and at the same time providing employees the flexibility they desire.”
According to BlackBerry, Secure Work Space will avoid the cost and hassle of VPN solutions. Closed beta testing is currently underway, and general availability is expected by the end of the second quarter. More details are promised at the BlackBerry Live conference in May in Orlando.