The BlackBerry Enterprise BRIDGE: The Most Important Product You’ve Never Heard Of

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We don’t take security seriously enough—particularly with regard to our personal device use. The communications we have with these devices can be work-related, finance-related, medical in nature or legal in nature, and involve people like our kids or parents who could be also put at risk. To address this, companies often execute a secure container for corporate apps but the problem with secure containers is that Microsoft Office Apps—in common use by individuals and employees—don’t operate in them.

To address this problem, BlackBerry—the firm once known for secure phones (well they kind of still are)—has released a product called the BlackBerry Enterprise BRIDGE. This product works exclusively with Microsoft Intune.

Let’s talk about the importance of a product like BlackBerry BRIDGE this week.

Exposure

You’d think we would take email more seriously than we do, particularly given we just had a presidential candidate effectively lose a race that most thought she would win as a result of horrid email security practices. The need to secure email with some organizations is critical. These organizations include government, military, financial, medical, law enforcement, legal, defense, aerospace, and the clear majority of conversations in and around large corporations particularly those of executive management.

Hacked email can lead to regulatory penalties, successful phishing attacks against anyone in the conversation (created from the compromised email), and employee punishment including termination. Once stolen, email can also can be used to compromise the organization or company the email originated with or was sent to.

As a result, the exposure from compromised email is relatively high and could easily, in some major cases, be catastrophic. Ideally you want the email protected while on the device and then adequately encrypted in transit.

BlackBerry BRIDGE

This isn’t a complex product it basically fills the existing gap with Office users on Android or iOS who need a comprehensive email encryption solution both on their phone and particularly in transit. Working in conjunction with Microsoft Intune, this is part of the Microsoft Enterprise Mobility platform which manages mobile devices and apps. Intune integrates with other Enterprise Mobility Solutions, like BRIDGE and Azure Active Directory to fully assure proper access control and data protection (Azure Information Protection).

The nice thing about this combined solution is that it completes the requirement to secure email on the device, secure email in transit, and secure email in the Azure cloud or on an on-premise Exchange server. It can be implemented on company owned or BYOD devices and even help secure (this is Intune) employee access to Office 365 resources from public kiosks. Finally, Intune can be used to secure loaned smartphones and tablets for tasks, temporary workers, or guests.

Combined, Microsoft Intune and BlackBerry BRIDGE can effectively secure the vast variety of iOS and Android devices using Office 365—helping to assure the next big data breach happens to someone else.

Wrapping Up

Some of the most interesting things come out of partnerships. Microsoft and Intel partnered to create the PC market; Samsung grew to overshadow Apple with the help of Google; and IBM and NVIDIA are redefining artificial intelligence (AI) and supercomputers. While each of those things is incredibly important, none are more critical to a firm today than making sure your communications are secure. This combination between Microsoft with their Intune product and BlackBerry with their BRIDGE, while far simpler, may be—from the standpoint of customer care and even in some cases company survival—one of the most important unsung partnerships in the market.

It is this security benefit that appears to make the BlackBerry BRIDGE one of the most important products you likely haven’t heard about—until now that is.

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About Author

As President and Principal Analyst of the Enderle Group, Rob provides regional and global companies with guidance in how to create credible dialogue with the market, target customer needs, create new business opportunities, anticipate technology changes, select vendors and products, and practice zero dollar marketing. For over 20 years Rob has worked for and with companies like Microsoft, HP, IBM, Dell, Toshiba, Gateway, Sony, USAA, Texas Instruments, AMD, Intel, Credit Suisse First Boston, ROLM, and Siemens.

2 Comments

  1. While I agree with your points, I am wondering why there are almost no downloads of the BlackBerry Enterprise Bridge App? Unfortunately it looks like another great BlackBerry product being left in the dust due to poor execution on the marketing and sales front by BlackBerry

    • Maybe because this is an app for a very narrow group of users?
      For those who won’t write as a feedback something like “Terrible app, it asks me to enter my email and some key and do nothing”.

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