Just how secure is Blackberry compared to Sony/Samsung/iPhone?

HI All, I need to know just how secure Blackberry handsets are today as compared to other offerings in the workplace (Sony/Samsung/iPhone) ?    I work in a company that is in the finance sector, as such we are heavily regulated in regards to how we control both personal and company financial data outside of the company.

Due to this we have always stayed with Blackberry handsets for company emails, we also maintain our own Blackberry 12 server on-premise.  Of late the Blackberry handsets we can use are now things like BB Priv and BB Keynote's, but they have an Android platform with the Blackberry Apps to control secure functionality.

I now have a need to provide a balanced proposal to senior management at the company I work for, this is to show how the security of Blackberry now compares to other offerings that can added to our management server (Sony/Samsung/iPhone) or indeed to other management platforms that are in the market.

If anyone has any advice on how Blackberries stack up to the competition then please do let me know .  I do have full Blackberry support, but they are not really the ones I want to get a balanced view from  :-).

Thanks in advance for any assistance.

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Paul MacDonaldDirector, Information SystemsCommented:
Define "how secure Blackberry handsets are today as compared to other offerings."  What criteria are you using?  With Blackberry you have a company that manufactures the hardware, the software, and owns the data interchange back-end.  They are inherently more secure, but only to the extent those things matter.

Apple controls the hardware, but not the apps, nor the back-end.  Bad apps can, and do get into the Apple Store.

Android is the wild, wild west in terms of security - better bring your own sheriff.  Android runs on just about anything, and it's a coin flip as to whether or not a app from the Google Store is malicious.   Every phone provider supports Android phones.

In every case, a human working anywhere in the back-end could compromise a user.  It seems to me, that's less likely to happen with an employee at Blackberry than with an employee at any of the larger phone companies, but who knows?
mercuriousu2Author Commented:
Thanks for your take on this,  just to add a little on the current setup we have.  We have a Blackberry server Vs12 in-house so are not dependent on using other companies servers, the server integrates with our own Exchange server for emails.

The handsets we get now are not actually made by Blackberry as in the past but under license (China?) so its another hardware that can be called Blackberry in the market place and is running Android software platform.  

I need to know the take on whether they are still end-to-end more secure in email transmissions   and the handling of data to the other handset offering around today given they now use under laying Android O/S which seems to narrow the gap?

Other offerings can be added to our BES 12 server, but would they be as secure to the others being used. I take onboard the comments above and like the "bring your own sheriff"  term :-)

Paul MacDonaldDirector, Information SystemsCommented:
The thing that's made Blackberry so secure is that they don't generally allow users to compromise themselves.  You can make an Android or Apple phone secure too...until the user installs "Angry Birds" or something like that.  If you're going to lock down your Android or Apple so users can't do anything else with them, why not just use Blackberry?

On the hardware side, I take it as foregone manufacturers have their own back doors into the equipment.  With a Blackberry or Apple phone - even if it's manufactured under license - there's probably a more direct route from manufacturer to consumer than with an Android.  

In terms of software, there are plenty of examples of Android phones being compromised after manufacture, as third party applications are installed prior to delivery for sale.

Being secure is Blackberry's whole thing.  Pretty much their only thing.  If they lost that, they probably couldn't stay in business.

N.B.  I have no financial interest in any phone or phone software manufacturer - my statements are based on what I know and what I've experienced.

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Blackberry Enterprise Server has always been known to be highly secure. And it's been a historic advantage of theirs. However, bear in mind that they started moving more towards a software focus, so you can actually utilize their software to manage iOS and Android devices.

Also remember that BB devices of today run Android. Are they inherently more secure? It's mostly all about configuration. So establish what type of baseline you require and work based on that. But also take into account what comes preloaded on the phone. Manufacturers like to load their own stuff, as do carriers. And naturally, restricting what type of access a user has to the inner workings of the phone is key. Users have to bear in mind that the company owns the phone, not them.

I'd also recommend checking with Google, Samsung, and Sony for some of your answers.
mercuriousu2Author Commented:
Many thanks to the responses, very helpful to have the additional insight.
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