BlackBerry PlayBook Wins Security Clearance From Feds - InformationWeek
11:22 AM
Eric Zeman
Eric Zeman

BlackBerry PlayBook Wins Security Clearance From Feds

RIM's tablet is the first to pass the Federal Information Processing Standard, deeming it secure enough for use by U.S. government workers.

Score one for Research In Motion. While its PlayBook tablet may not have scored a home run with consumers (or developers), it just got a big thumbs up from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), which granted it FIPS certification. No other tablet, despite its success in the market, can lay claim to this title. The PlayBook stands alone with the FIPS chip on its shoulder.

FIPS certification is required for devices to be used by the federal government. This clears the PlayBook for use by government agencies, and now means the PlayBook meets RIM's own stringent security requirements for features such as native email and contact management. (Some have speculated that the reason the PlayBook shipped without support for PIM management was due to missing security tokens.)

"RIM is pleased to announce that the BlackBerry PlayBook is the first tablet approved under FIPS for use within the U.S. federal government," said Scott Totzke, senior vice president for BlackBerry security at Research In Motion, in a statement. "This certification demonstrates our continued commitment to meeting the needs of security-conscious organizations and enables the U.S. federal government to buy with confidence knowing that the PlayBook meets their computing policy requirements for protecting sensitive information."

While this is great news for RIM, it is unclear if this will actually spur government sales. The U.S. government may make use of BlackBerrys, which work well with the PlayBook, but the PlayBook still lags the iPad and Android-based tablets in basic functionality and features.

In other PlayBook news, RIM on Friday announced that it has acquired a small company called JayCut, which is based out of Sweden and operates a premier online video editor that it has licensed to a variety of companies and websites. According to RIM, the JayCut team will bring their expertise in video editing and cloud-based services to the BlackBerry platform. By working with JayCut to add video editing capabilities to the BlackBerry platform, RIM believes it can further enrich its customers' multimedia experience with BlackBerry.

Last up, an unfinished build of the Android Application Player for the PlayBook has leaked. This emulator will allow the PlayBook to run Android applications. RIM doesn't want you to install it, however.

It issued an official statement regarding the leak late Thursday: "An older version of the Android App Player beta software for the BlackBerry PlayBook was inadvertently posted and has since been removed. We recommend that users refrain from downloading and installing this software since it is outdated and non-functional in many respects. The official beta release of the Android App Player for the BlackBerry PlayBook is on track for release later this summer."

RIM touted the Android App Player as a way to help expand the availability of applications to the PlayBook platform. PlayBook owners will be able to use it to access the Android Market and download/install Android apps on their PlayBook.

See the latest IT solutions at Interop New York. Learn to leverage business technology innovations--including cloud, virtualization, security, mobility, and data center advances--that cut costs, increase productivity, and drive business value. Save 25% on Flex and Conference Passes or get a Free Expo Pass with code CPFHNY25. It happens in New York City, Oct. 3-7, 2011. Register now.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Digital Transformation Myths & Truths
Transformation is on every IT organization's to-do list, but effectively transforming IT means a major shift in technology as well as business models and culture. In this IT Trend Report, we examine some of the misconceptions of digital transformation and look at steps you can take to succeed technically and culturally.
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll