“We’re so secure they had to ban us”

As BlackBerry continue to win over ever more buyers in the UK Healthcare market, I wonder if the ban on their devices in the UAE could turn out to be a PR win for their Healthcare Enterprise sales teams in the rest of the world?

If you haven’t been following the furor it arose as BlackBerry manufacturer Research In Motion (RIM) has been banned from networks in the region because the governments there found it “impossible” to monitor BlackBerry data traffic.

There are of course the downsides such as the massive impact this will have on sales in the region, the churn it will inevitably cause amongst those in the region already using BlackBerrys and the inconvenience that will be faced by those travelling to Dubai for a week of sun or business as they have to put their SIM cards into another manufacturers device if they want to access the internet/apps.

But could they possibly make up for the business shortfall as enterprise customers get even more confidence in the BlackBerry security architecture and are reminded of how it is “purposefully designed to exclude the capability for RIM or any third party to read encrypted information under any circumstances.”

I’ve mentioned before how the BlackBerry Enterprise sales presentation uses the word “security” at least once in every slide, but after this development will the job of explaining this be a whole lot easier?

Could a “It’s a BlackBerry, of course it’s secure” slogan do for RIM what “Does Exactly What It Says On The Tin” did for Ronseal?

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4 Responses to “We’re so secure they had to ban us”

  1. Malcolm says:

    Hi David,

    It’s rare to find myself in disagreement with one of your posts but this has got nothing to do with Blackberry’s or RIM’s back end being secure!

    It is a problem that is created because RIM is choosing to locate it’s servers outside of the countries concerned. The ban is simply a way of making them comply with the local legal requirements that prevail

    Nothing in this ban indicates that the devices or the platform is any more secure than that offered any other Smartphone manufacturers service

    • Hi Malcolm,

      Thanks for expressing your disagreement. I think these are some of the key things that need to be debated before Doctors and Healthcare providers are going to be confident prescribing mHealth.

      Yes of course the ban originates because of this issue but there are other ways a governments/principality can, with the help of the carriers they govern, compromise devices and the data passing to and from them. Asides from the server there are several ways to do this and a common way is to install some software on the smartphone by preloading it or by pushing the customer an innocent looking update. On the Blackberry (a device which is popular on grey markets) there is evidence that this compromise proved to be difficult to implement and with customers noticing the bloated spyware and complaining I guess the governments needed some more effective method. Story here:

      http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/168814/rim_uae_carriers_blackberry_update_was_spyware.html

      On other devices this type of compromise is much easier eg. iOS4 (used on Apple’s iPhone) can enslave the device by simply pointing the browser at a URL (which is an easy thing for an operator to do as they can initiate an innocent looking redirect to their homepage):

      http://www.9to5mac.com/node/20643

  2. Pingback: RIM Launch “The Patient in your Pocket” Super App for NHS Staff « 3G Doctor Blog

  3. Pingback: Let’s nip this myth in the bud: Mobile Operator Dominance Hindering mHealth Innovation « mHealth Insight: the blog of 3G Doctor

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