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Blackberry beefs up security on new Android smartphone

Blackberry beefs up security on new Android smartphone
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BlackBerry has unveiled a new smartphone called the DTEK50 and touted as the most secure Android smartphone ever.

DTEK50 is the second Android-based samrtphone released by Blackberry combining Alphabet Inc’s popular software and broad app catalogue.

[quote font=”georgia” font_size=”22″ font_style=”italic” align=”left” arrow=”yes”]David Kleidermacher, Chief Security Officer, BlackBerry explains that “with an increase in cybercrime on smartphones, people need to recognise that the private details of their lives, where they live, their bank info, pictures of their kids are at risk on their personal device. You wouldn’t leave the doors of your house unlocked at night.[/quote]Fully equipped with Android Marshmallow 6.0, DTEK50 combines BlackBerry’s unique security, privacy and productivity with the full Android experience in an all-touch design, the company said

Blackberry beefs up security on new Android smartphone
Blackberry’s new Android smartphone, DTEK50

Ralph Pini, Chief Operating Officer and General Manager, Devices, BlackBerry says, “we take our customers’ privacy seriously. That’s why we’re proud to have all the security and privacy functionality that’s built in our newest Android smartphone. DTEK50 merges the unique security and connectivity features BlackBerry is known for with the rich Android ecosystem.

“DTEK50 adds to BlackBerry’s lineup of secure smartphones, providing choices to our customers with different price points on both BlackBerry 10 and Android platforms.”

On security and privacy being at the forefront in its second Android phone, BlackBerry says that in a recent survey of Android smartphone users, it found that 50 percent believe their smartphone is only somewhat secure, and what’s more, despite data security fears, one in six Android users don’t know about Android security patches.

David Kleidermacher, Chief Security Officer, BlackBerry explains that “with an increase in cybercrime on smartphones, people need to recognise that the private details of their lives, where they live, their bank info, pictures of their kids are at risk on their personal device. You wouldn’t leave the doors of your house unlocked at night.

“Having a smartphone that doesn’t take your privacy seriously is the equivalent. It’s equally important for businesses to protect their sensitive data from cyberattacks at all points of their mobile environment from the device to the network and servers.”

Blackberry says it designed DTEK50 to address the security and privacy needs of today’s uncompromising Android users as smartphones are increasingly being targeted for cyberattacks through tactics like malicious apps, scareware notifications and insecure Wi-Fi connections.

Blackberry beefs up security on new Android smartphone
Display of apps on DTEK50 screen

DTEK50 encrypts all users’ information, including business critical data and personal data such as pictures, videos and contacts. Malware protection is also built-in along with back-up, wipe and restore capabilities.

Additional software provides users with visibility and control over which apps get access to personal info or device features such as the microphone or camera.

These are the features BlackBerry says make DTEK50 the most secure Android smartphone:

Rapid Security Patching: This sets the bar in incident response and patch management to protect your device from malicious threats.

DTEK by BlackBerry App: Enables users to automatically monitor their OS and apps to know when their privacy could be at risk and to take action to improve it. The DTEK app also tracks applications and notifies you when someone is: taking pictures or videos without your knowledge, turning your microphone on, sending a text message, or accessing your contacts or location.

Hardware Root of Trust: BlackBerry’s manufacturing process uses a proprietary technique that adds security from the start, allowing for the tracking, verification and provisioning of DTEK50.

Secure Boot Process: Starting with the root of trust, each stage of DTEK50’s secure boot chain must first verify that the next component is fully intact before proceeding, ensuring your device has not been tampered with since the last restart.

Android OS hardening: BlackBerry provides additional security patches, improved random number, address space generation and certificate pinning to make it more difficult for attackers to target a device by scrambling application/system memory.

FIPS 140-2 Compliant Full Disk Encryption: Protects your private information, like pictures or bank information, from being stolen if you were to lose your phone.

Key Features                                                                                                                                     

DTEK50, BlackBerry’s thinnest device ever, represents the best of BlackBerry with Android to make users more productive and responsive, pairing security with intelligent design, according to the phone makers.

BlackBerry Intelligent Keyboard: DTEK50 has a smart keyboard designed to learn from users and increase typing accuracy and speed. It provides word suggestions as you type and includes up to three languages, letting you flick them into place for faster conversations.

Blackberry beefs up security on new Android smartphone
Side view of DTEK 50

BlackBerry Hub: This unified inbox is an irreplaceable tool for consolidating all of your messages in one place, whether it’s email, calendar, social or phone calls.

Customizable BlackBerry Convenience Key: With the press of a button, the Convenience Key provides quick access to your most used applications and more.

Stunning Screen: DTEK50 has a 5.2” full HD display, capable of displaying 16 million colors. The screen is made of scratch-resistant glass and features a specialized oleophobic coating to protect against smudges and fingerprints.

Expandable Memory: With support for micro SD cards up to 2 TB, DTEK50 provides the flexibility to add affordable and hot-swappable memory to download, install, capture and share as your needs evolve.

Dazzling Camera: DTEK50 is engineered to deliver professional-looking photos with an 8MP front facing camera and a 13MP auto-focus rear camera. Plus, features like Phase Detection Auto Focus and a dual-tone LED flash are designed to help the camera focus instantly and accurately for a blur-free, realistic looking photos, even in low light.

Availability and Pricing                                                                                                                    

According to BlackBerry, DTEK50 is available to pre-order from ShopBlackBerry.com in the US, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy and The Netherlands for $299.

It will be available in a number of channels around the world, including more than 40 partners from electronics stores, carriers, VARs and distributors.

Availability of DTEK50 in additional global channels and countries will be announced in the coming weeks, Blackberry says.

 

 

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Donatus Anichukwueze Technology Journalist at Technology Times Media Phone No: 08074016066 e-mail: donatus.anichukwueze@technologytimes.ng