BlackBerry, licensing its security tech for third-party smart devices

Although your next phone may not be Blackberry, yet Blackberry hopes that it will have a presence in it. The company has started licensing its security tech to third-party hardware companies to be put inside phones and some other smart devices. The first deal Blackberry had was announced in September and it was for phones with the Chinese company NTD. Today, Blackberry is announcing a new deal with the Swiss company Punkt widely known for its minimalist cellphones.

It wasn’t stated what Punkt will use the tech for however, Blackberry announced that it will be more widely used not just on phones suggesting that it may end up in somewhat of an loT devices.

Blackberry stopped making its own hardware in 2016 and has since then gone into licensing business allowing it to sell its branding and software while other companies get to handle the hardware. Blackberry KeyOne of last year for example was made by TCL.

The new licensing program called Blackberry Secure allows companies to leverage Blackberry’s security credentials without completely hiding their branding. Punkt for instance could sell a Punkt-branded phone that displays “Blackberry Secure” at a point in its startup.

Blackberry does have a reputation for the security of its devices, but it no longer makes its own operating system, rather it is working to strengthen Android which it has no complete control over. Other companies also make claims of securing Android, so it’s difficult to say that Blackberry is improving Android and others aren’t.

In a bid to secure a phone, Blackberry says it gets involved in its manufacturing process to sign and inject encrypted keys that allow the hardware and software to verify that it has not been meddled with. According to the company, it has “hardened” the Linux Kernel that Android runs on top of and fully encrypts the storage of the system. Blackberry has also done well to put out monthly software updates, which is a huge improvement in itself. It also includes pre-installed apps intended to help users supervise the security of their devices.

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