The day when the BlackBerry (TSX:BB) brand is not synonymous with a smart phone may not be imminent, but some of the Waterloo-based device maker’s recent actions suggest it may one day be a reality.
The most recent evidence came today when the company appointed a new Chief Security Officer with deep expertise in the Internet of Things.
BlackBerry’s new man is David Kleidermacher, a mobile security and Internet of Things expert, and author of the book ““Embedded Systems Security: Practical Methods for Safe and Secure Software and Systems Development”.
“David is an outstanding addition to our best-in-class security team, and he will help extend BlackBerry’s gold standard of security as we work with customers to meet new cybersecurity challenges,” said CEO John Chen. “In particular, David’s knowledge of securing the Internet of Things and embedded systems will be invaluable as we execute on our strategy and continue to expand our management of the world’s mobile endpoints.”
Last May, BlackBerry unveiled Project Ion, a way for the company to extend its famous encryption into Internet-enabled devices. The initiative may strike a chord today in particular after Samsung yesterday warned that customers should be wary of talking in front of its voice enabled TVs for fear that conversations could be recorded and transmitted to third parties. Yikes.
So is BlackBerry the company to save us from a dystopian future of snooping appliances? Chen thinks the company’s expertise might just be in demand in a time when your refrigerator has an IP address.
“Billions of connections, generating trillions of transactions and exabytes of data daily, will require platforms that can operate securely on a global scale. No other company is in a better position than BlackBerry to provide the technological building blocks, applications and services needed to enhance productivity, improve real-time decision making and deliver on the vision of the Internet of Things,” he said at Project Ion’s launch.
One review of Kleidermacher’s book (co-written with his father) suggests that BlackBerry has exactly the right man for the job.
“An important contribution to the understanding of the security of embedded systems,” said Dr. Joerg Borchert, Vice President, Chip Card & Security, Infineon Technologies North America Corp.; President and Chairman, Trusted Computing Group. “The Kleidermachers are experts in their field. As the Internet of things becomes reality, this book helps business and technology management as well as engineers understand the importance of “security from scratch.” This book, with its examples and key points, can help bring more secure, robust systems to the market.”
Time to go: my toaster needs to download a security patch if I’m going to have breakfast today.