Tag Archives: BlackBerry

NATO selects BlackBerry’s encrypted voice technology for secure calls

The NATO Communications and Information (NCI) Agency has awarded a contract for BlackBerry’s SecuSUITE for Government to encrypt the conversations of its technology and cyber leaders wherever they communicate – in the workplace, at home or when travelling abroad.

The NCI Agency helps NATO’s 29 Member Nations communicate securely and work together in smarter ways. It acquires, deploys and defends communication systems for NATO’s political decision-makers and Command Centres, working on the front lines against cyber attacks. Due to the classified nature of the information the NCI Agency handles, it’s critical that all communications remain secure, combating any opportunity for a cyber criminal to electronically eavesdrop on conversations.

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“As cyber criminals and state-sponsored actors become increasingly more sophisticated, we needed a highly secure way for our cyber leaders to have phone conversations with people inside and outside of our organisation regardless of where they are in the world,” said Kevin Scheid, general manager of the NCI Agency. “BlackBerry’s voice encryption technology helps solve this challenge and strengthens our elite cyber defence strategy.”

Dr Christoph Erdmann, senior vice-president of BlackBerry SecuSMART at BlackBerry, responded: “Eavesdropping on calls is one of the easiest ways to gain access to private information. We’re extremely proud that the NCI Agency, a world leader in the development and use of technology that keeps NATO nations secure, has put its trust in BlackBerry’s software to secure voice communication. No matter the operating system or ‘thing’ used to communicate, BlackBerry’s arsenal of cyber security technology ensures that our customers’ data remains private.”

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BlackBerry’s SecuSUITE for Government supports Android and iOS smart phones and tablets, and can be can be installed on-premise, in a Data Centre or in the cloud.

Use cases for the solution include: 

*Secure conferencing: Encrypts conversations between a secure conference bridge and a SecuSUITE for Government-enabled devices

*Secure landing: Encrypts mobile devices to a landline within a network

*Break-in: Protects any communication between a mobile or landline on the user’s home network to a SecuSUITE for Government-enabled mobile device

*Break-out: Secures mobile devices to the employee’s home network and from there to external mobile or landlines through PSTN extension

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SecuSUITE for Government has been evaluated and certified to be compliant with the Common Criteria protection profile for VoIP applications and SIP servers. It has also earned a NIAP certification and has been placed on the NSA Commercial Solutions for Classified Program component list of products certified for use on classified systems.

*For more information on BlackBerry’s SecuSUITE for Government visit blackberry.com/government

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Mobile phone theft research report highlights models targeted by thieves

Research published by Home Secretary Theresa May not only highlights the most popular handsets targeted by thieves but also sets out practical steps to protect mobile phones from being stolen.

The research paper includes a ‘Mobile Phone Theft Ratio’ that shows which handsets may be most likely to be targeted by thieves.

The paper – which was produced with the Behavioural Insights Team and pieced together in consultation with the mobile phone industry – also sets out practical steps as to how members of the public can protect their mobile phones from being stolen.

The Mobile Phone Theft Ratio – based on data for the period August 2012 to January 2014 – is topped by the Apple iPhone models 5, 5C, 5S and 4S followed by the BlackBerry 9790 in fifth place. Samsung Galaxy and HTC phones also feature on the index.

Mobile phone theft is an increasing problem

Mobile phone theft is an increasing problem

The likelihood of a phone being targeted by thieves is driven by a number of factors, including the overall desirability of the phone itself, the ease of access to valuable personal data stored on handsets and the perceived risk of the phone being tracked once it has been stolen.

Level of theft remains a concern

Home Secretary Theresa May said: “Crime has fallen by more than 10% under this Government. This is good news for a safer England and Wales. However, the level of mobile phone theft remains a concern. People are increasingly carrying their lives in their pockets, with bank details, e-mails and other sensitive personal information easily accessible through mobile phones. This is why it’s vital that Government, the police service and industry work together to tackle this form of criminality.”

The Home Secretary continued: “The Mobile Phone Theft Ratio will inform consumers about which mobile phones are most targeted by thieves. We are also working with industry to stop the reactivation of phones overseas, thereby killing the export market on which organised criminals rely. The mobile phone industry is already taking vital action to introduce features that enable phones to be tracked and wiped if they are stolen. It’s encouraging to see that these security improvements have contributed to recorded theft from the person falling by 10% in the last year, according to the most recent crime statistics.”

The paper highlights the success of new features, such as the new iOS7 operating system developed by Apple, and the Find My Mobile and Reactivation Lock features introduced by Samsung.

Intelligence from the Metropolitan Police Service suggests that the iOS7 system has already affected the black market value of stolen phones.

The research paper also shows that people are most likely to have their phones stolen directly from their person (through pick-pocketing) or when the handset is briefly left unattended, for example at a table in a bar. The data highlights that certain groups are particularly vulnerable: 14-24 year olds, and most notably women are more likely than any other group to be the victims of mobile phone theft.

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Guardian24 smartphone app protects Addiction NI lone workers

Northern Ireland-based charity Addiction NI has chosen to protect its staff who work alone by equipping them with Guardian24’s lone working personal safety smartphone application. The application provides end users with the ability to log in and out of daily tasks, and also allows them to raise a panic alarm should their safety be compromised.

Addiction NI is an alcohol and drug treatment charity providing tailor-made treatment programmes for people with drug or alcohol problems that’s delivered in community settings. The charity also gives confidential support to people affected by someone else’s drinking or drug use.

Addiction NI provide outreach services where treatment programmes are being delivered in clients’ homes. These appointments are often carried out by an individual worker, so they’re open to the risks associated with lone working.

Alan Coleman, project manager at Addiction NI, said: “Staff often work alone and can operate several miles from their office base. In addition to the risk of physical and verbal abuse presented by clients who may be intoxicated, there’s also the risk presented by others who may be in the home when staff call.”

Guardian24's lone worker protection system for Addiction NI is delivered via BlackBerry smartphones

Guardian24’s lone worker protection system for Addiction NI is delivered via BlackBerry smartphones

Reason for the new arrangement

With the increase in lone working visits, Addiction NI decided it needed extra support to safeguard workers at all times.

Guardian24 was chosen as the lone worker safety protection to be used via Blackberry smartphones. The lone worker mobile application provides an easy-to-use personal security service without the cost of purchasing additional devices.

With the ability to log in and out of daily tasks and raise a panic alarm should an issue occur where safety of the lone worker is compromised, Addiction NI is meeting its Duty of Care to employees.

Addiction NI has found that implementing Guardian24 provides reassurance and peace of mind to staff by allowing them to carry out their jobs with the knowledge that they have extra protection should they find themselves in a volatile environment where they’re exposed to risk and their safety is compromised.

“The Guardian24 service has greatly enhanced our Lone Working Policy and procedures,” continued Coleman. “The system is easy to operate and provides staff with the reassurance that if a situation arises in which they feel they’re at risk, they have immediate access to a panic alarm to summon help.”

Using reports from Guardian24

A further reassurance for Addiction NI’s staff is that if their session with a client exceeds the estimated duration of the activity that they logged, Guardian24 will instigate an escalating response to check on their safety.

Coleman added: “Our managerial staff make full use of the Guardian24 reports, such as the monitoring reports, in turn allowing managers to immediately pinpoint a member of staff’s location in the event of an alarm being raised.”

Guardian24’s marketing manager Leona Mills commented: “Addiction NI joins our ever-growing list of charities who use our invaluable service to protect their lone workers. With over 33,000 users throughout the UK and Ireland, our award-winning technology continues to protect the vulnerable lone workers in this sector.”

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Home Office: ‘Online advice service launched to thwart mobile phone thieves’

A new online advice service to help people protect their mobile phone handsets from thieves has gone live today. The advice has been published on Police.uk with the support of major phone manufacturers Apple, Blackberry, LG, Samsung, Sony, Nokia and Windows Phones.

The service encourages members of the public to make more use of their phone’s security features, including innovations such as tracking, wiping data from or locking stolen handsets remotely using another Internet-enabled device.

The service also provides links to information on each manufacturer’s security features, including how to switch them on.

There are tips on avoiding mobile phone theft in the first place, such as taking extra care to keep handsets secure in busy locations and never leaving a mobile phone unattended.

Mobile phones are an attractive target for thieves. Handsets can be sold for hundreds of pounds overseas, where the newest models are not yet available

Mobile phones are an attractive target for thieves. Handsets can be sold for hundreds of pounds overseas, where the newest models are not yet available

Statistics on mobile phone theft

In 2012-2013 there were 742,000 victims of mobile phone theft in England and Wales. Sixteen to 24-year-olds are the most likely age group to be the target of ‘theft from the person’ offences.

Crime prevention minister Norman Baker has held a series of meetings with leaders in the mobile phone manufacturing industry to discuss what more can be done to tackle mobile phone theft.

“Crime is down more than 10% but theft from the person has gone up, bucking the overall trend,” explained Baker. “It’s clear much of this is generated by the theft of mobile phones, iPads and the like. I have challenged the industry to do more to make such thefts unattractive, for example by making it easier to immobilise stolen devices. I’m pleased to see that we are now making progress.”

Baker continued: “One part of this is the online advice service which is a vital new tool that will help people protect their handsets and make would-be thieves think twice. Mobile phone technology is changing all the time and we need innovative solutions to ensure we stay ahead of criminals.”

Leader in responding to mobile phone crime

The UK is a world leader in responding to mobile phone crime, with the industry and the police already working together to block stolen phones within 48 hours – stopping them being re-used in this country and making them less valuable.

Mobile phones are an attractive target for thieves. Handsets can be sold for hundreds of pounds overseas, where the newest models are not yet available.

Latest figures from the Crime Survey for England and Wales showed 40% of thefts from the person involve a mobile phone.

The latest quarterly police recorded crime statistics were published in January, and cover the three months to the end of September 2013. They show ‘theft from the person offences’ are up by 7% and a rise in shoplifting offences of 4%.

The Government has started publishing street-level information on ‘theft from the person’ on crime maps so that Police and Crime Commissioners and the public can hold their local force to account.

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Home Office: “Joint action to tackle mobile phone theft”

A Home Office Summit aimed at tackling the growing number of mobile phone thefts has stepped up its work to look at how security features might be used to make handsets less attractive to thieves.

A new online advice service is among options being considered by the Home Office, all the while working with the industry in a bid to tackle mobile phone theft.

The move comes after crime prevention minister Norman Baker met representatives from mobile phone industry leaders including Samsung, Google, Apple, Nokia and BlackBerry to consider new action against the growing problem.

The Government agreed to look at ways in which to support industry efforts, including encouraging the public to make more use of phone security features. This includes looking into launching an online advice service which would give people ideas on how to better protect their phone.

826,000 people in England and Wales have experienced mobile phone theft in the past year. That equates to around 2% of mobile phone owners. This percentage has stayed more or less constant since 2005-2006

826,000 people in England and Wales have experienced mobile phone theft in the past year. That equates to around 2% of mobile phone owners. This percentage has stayed more or less constant since 2005-2006

The UK is a world leader in responding to mobile phone crime, with the industry and the police having worked together to block stolen phones within 48 hours – stopping them being re-used in this country and making them less valuable.

At the meeting, manufacturers outlined a range of new security features they are adding to phones which will make it harder for criminals to use stolen handsets.

Mobile phones are becoming an increasingly attractive target for thieves, with more than 800,000 stolen in the past year alone across England and Wales.

Handsets can be sold for hundreds of pounds overseas, where the newest models are not yet available.

Increase in theft from the person

“Recorded crime is down by more than 10% under this Government,” said Baker, “but we’re seeing signs of an increase in theft from the person, mainly smartphones. Mobile phone technology is changing all the time, and we need innovative solutions to ensure we stay ahead of the criminals. I want to make mobile phone theft as difficult as possible. This meeting with telecom leaders is an important step forward.”

A spokesperson for Samsung said: “Samsung is pleased to be supporting the UK Government in its goal to reduce the serious issue of mobile phone crime theft. Samsung phones already have features such as ‘Find My Mobile’, which gives people control over how their devices are used if lost or stolen, as well as ‘Reactivation Lock’ on new mobile devices which prevents a reset of the device if it isn’t recovered.”

The spokesperson continued: “Samsung strongly encourages everyone to use the features available on their device to protect it in the event that it is lost or stolen, and we’re continuing to explore new and innovative ways in which to prevent the use of stolen devices.”

A Nokia spokesperson added: “Nokia has a long history of working with Governments, operators and retailers to reduce the theft of mobile phones. It’s good to see this renewed focus on protecting users.”

The following organisations were represented at this latest round of discussions: Apple, BlackBerry, Google (Android), Samsung, Nokia, Microsoft and the Global System for Mobile Communications Association.

According to the Crime Survey, 826,000 people in England and Wales have experienced mobile phone theft in the past year. That equates to around 2% of mobile phone owners. This percentage has stayed more or less constant since 2005-2006.

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Guardian24 and Mercury Security Management: joining forces to safeguard lone workers

Two Northern Ireland companies have joined forces to address the growing issue of lone worker safety and the potential impact it could have on businesses under Corporate Manslaughter legislation.

Guardian24, a leading provider of lone and mobile worker safety solutions, and Mercury Security Management (Northern Ireland’s biggest independent security company) have teamed up to offer much needed protection to vulnerable lone workers throughout Ireland and beyond.

According to The Office of National Statistics (2009) there are approximately 2.5-3.5 million lone workers currently employed in the UK – a long list that would include rent collectors, postal staff, social workers, doctors, district nurses, pest control workers, drivers, engineers, architects, estate agents, sales representatives and similar professionals visiting domestic and commercial premises.

Even office staff working alone late at night can be vulnerable to potential theft or attack.

The solution on offer from Guardian24 and Mercury Security allows lone workers to use their mobile phone to log their whereabouts at any particular time as well as the expected duration of their stay, or track their movements via GPS. Their mobile device also doubles up as a covert panic button which can be activated discreetly if the lone worker’s safety is compromised.

The service – which can be used via mobile phone, BlackBerry, Android, iPhone, Windows PDA or any specialist lone worker device – is also of great interest to local businesses and employers who have a Duty of Care to protect their staff or face very severe consequences in the event of an employee being harmed while carrying out their job.

Guardian24 and Mercury Security Management: now in a strategic partnership to assist lone workers with their security and safety

Guardian24 and Mercury Security Management: now in a strategic partnership to assist lone workers with their security and safety

Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act

Under the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act of April 2008, companies can be prosecuted for the offence of corporate manslaughter if the way in which their activities are managed or organised causes a death and this constitutes a gross breach of a Duty of Care to the deceased.

In addition, owners and senior managers of businesses can be personally prosecuted for offences related to failures in Health and Safety management, including gross negligence and manslaughter.

Indeed, it’s likely that a prosecution will be brought for corporate manslaughter against a company in tandem with prosecutions against individual directors or senior management for personal liability.

“Guardian24 already safeguards over 33,000 people across 400 organisations in the UK and Ireland through our mobile application for lone workers,” said the company’s CEO Henry Woods. “Now, as a result of our partnership with Mercury Security Management, companies from Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland will benefit from having a robust and fully accredited Alarm Receiving Centre response provided by the Mercury team. Both Guardian24 and Mercury Security are fully committed to helping safeguard these individuals that work alone in vulnerable circumstances, which is why we believe that our partnership will be a great success.”.

Mercury Security’s regional director for the UK and Ireland, Liam Cullen, commented: “We believe that this combined solution will provide the highest level of protection for lone workers while also protecting employers from potential legal action which could be extremely damaging to their business. The system allows customers to take advantage of the trend towards BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) among employees, freeing employers from the financial and time considerations inherent in device evaluation and procurement processes.”

Cullen continued: “Users now have a lone worker solution on the device they are comfortable and familiar with, and which they already carry at all times, safe in the knowledge that our Alarm Receiving Centre is on hand and ready to kick into action should the need arise.”

How the lone worker safety and security solution works

The lone worker logs his or her whereabouts via their smart phone or mobile device, leaving details of their location and the expected duration. If their activity over-runs, Guardian24 will automatically call the worker to verify their safety.

If the user cannot be reached, a nominated respondent or Mercury’s Alarm Receiving Centre will be notified so that an agreed protocol can be put into action to verify the user’s safety and location.

Should the lone worker’s safety be compromised, they can discreetly press a dedicated key on their chosen device to summon emergency assistance – even if the keypad is locked.

At this stage, Guardian24 will record live audio and immediately notify a nominated respondent or the Mercury ARC. Guardian24 provides the user’s personal details, activity details and live audio to the respondent receiving the escalated call. The respondent may then call the incident Helpline and connect to a live feed through the user’s handset for further emergency audio. This information is invaluable if you need to notify the emergency services.

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