Govt awards Cyber Essentials Plus certification to BlackBerry

Govt awards Cyber Essentials Plus certification to BlackBerry [Image: Trifonenko via iStock]

The UK government has awarded BlackBerry the new Cyber Essentials Plus certification, making it the first major mobile vendor to receive it.

According to BlackBerry, the basic Cyber Essentials certification “covers a wide range of security processes, including account management, firewall configuration, device configuration, backup processes and other security-related configurations”.

Obtaining the Cyber Essentials Plus certification is more difficult, however. It requires a qualified and authorised external tester to perform additional tests and checks within the organisation.

BlackBerry explained that this includes “an internal scan of the network, verification of account security for both standard users and administrative accounts, testing for defenses against malicious software installation via email and web browsing”.

Senior vice-president of security technology at BlackBerry Adam Boulton said: “While no certification can provide absolute certainty that a vendor or product will never be hacked, certifications do provide assurance that the product has been independently tested and often help to justify the vendor’s security claims.”

He went on to say that as cybersecurity becomes a greater concern, the UK Ministry of Defense is stipulating that its supply chain be Cyber Essentials-certified for sensitive projects.

Mr Boulton said that BlackBerry “leads the industry in secure military and government communications, and the Cyber Essentials certification gives BlackBerry yet another competitive advantage over other embedded software platform vendors”.

The company now has more than 80 certifications and validations.

Cyber Essentials is a government-backed, industry supported scheme designed to help organisations protect themselves against common cyber attacks. The UK government has said that it offers a “sound foundation of basic hygiene measures that all types of
organisations can implement and potentially build upon”.

The government explained that Cyber Essentials Plus offers a higher level of assurance than the basic Cyber Essentials certification through the external testing of the organisation’s cyber security approach.