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Hardware is BlackBerry’s Horcrux

By December 16, 2016 Featured
Horcrux BlackBerry Root of Trust

If you’re at all familiar with the Harry Potter series you’ll know that there are these objects called Horcrux in which the main antagonist has concealed a bit of his soul allowing him to live past death. Hardware for BlackBerry is very relatable in this sense. Hardware is an object in which BlackBerry has concealed a bit of their soul. As we know their soul is in security.

While BlackBerry says time and time again that they are a software focused company one must understand that it is the implementation of their software and security chain that truly makes them unique. Hardware plays a vital part in this refocus and represents the area where they are truly innovative in their approach.

Hardware Root of Trust:

You need to know that the mobile devices that connect to your organization’s network are trustworthy and not counterfeit or spoofed devices. Trustworthiness needs a solid foundation, which for computers or mobile devices ultimately means the hardware itself should be the foundation, or root, of trust.

BlackBerry’s approach to establishing hardware root of trust has two main pillars:

  • The manufacturing process
  • The BlackBerry Infrastructure that checks whether devices are authentic when they connect

BlackBerry uses a unique manufacturing security model that integrates security into every major component of product design. BlackBerry have enhanced this end-to-end manufacturing model to securely connect the supply chain, BlackBerry manufacturing partners, the BlackBerry network, and devices, which allows them to put to build trusted devices anywhere in the world.

To prevent counterfeit devices from operating on the network or using their services, BlackBerry does the following:

  • During manufacturing, BlackBerry uses the device’s hardware-based keys to track, verify, and provision each device as it goes through the manufacturing process.
  • During the device life cycle, BlackBerry uses device authentication that cryptographically proves the identity of any BlackBerry device that tries to register with our network.

The way this establishes root of trust means that only devices that have demonstrated authenticity can connect to your organization’s network.

This is the prevailing setup for both BlackBerry 10 and BlackBerry branded Android devices. Hardware partners like TCL work closely with BlackBerry to certify that the devices leaving the factory are secure to the standards listed above. This is what you’re buying into with any BlackBerry device.

It’s all these security considerations that make BlackBerry’s hardware part of the true end to end solution. This horcrux for BlackBerry is more of a blessing than a curse these days since hardware is being handled by their trusted partners.

What are your thoughts on all the work that BlackBerry puts in to making their devices secure? Leave a your comments down below.

James Nieves

Author James Nieves

Manning the helm here @BBRYFLOW. Feel free to shoot me an email.

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