BlackBerry Targets Android, iOS Devices With New Security Tool

The new software platform, managed through BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10, will allow users to separate and secure both their personal and work data on their iPhones and Android smartphones. Secure Work Space for iOS and Android is similar to BlackBerry's Balance feature in the recently launched BlackBerry 10 operating system, which allows users to create a personal profile and business profile on the platform and move seamlessly between the two.

Secure Work Space will include secured client applications for email, calendars, contacts, documents, web browsing and other functions for Android and iOS devices managed by BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10. BlackBerry said additional features and applications can be secured through the work space tool without any modification or alteration of the app's source code.

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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 BlackBerry's Enterprise Mobile Computing, in a press 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 [BYOD] 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."

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BlackBerry has made a strong push recently to extend its enterprises mobile services to third-party devices. The smartphone maker introduced BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10, a mobile device management (MDM) platform for third-party devices like iPhones and Android smartphones, ahead of its BlackBerry 10 OS launch in an effort to win over both corporate IT managers and solution provider partners dealing with BYOD. Secure Work Space gives BlackBerry another arrow in its MDM quiver, which could make the company more appealing to corporate customers that have defected to Apple and Android device makers like Samsung and LG.

Secure Work Space will be part of a BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 update, according to the company. The program is currently in closed beta test, and BlackBerry said it expects Secure Work Space to be generally available in the second quarter of this year.