BlackBerry and Partners Move to Secure Growing WFH Community

With more and more people working from home, often using personal devices, or undertaking sensitive data download, malicious actors are increasing attacks to exploit new vulnerabilities in the WFH (work from home) community.

BlackBerry Limited is integrating its critical event management platform, BlackBerry® AtHoc®, with the real-time collaboration platform, Microsoft Teams.

As the newly remote workforce adopts productivity tools to get work done and stay connected with teams during the coronavirus pandemic, organizations need to establish IT and security rules for extended virtual working. BlackBerry AtHoc is designed to ensure that any organization managing critical events using Teams is able to contact, alert, and account for everyone within the organization directly through the Teams platform should an incident transpire.

Already implemented across multiple industries such as federal and local government, public safety and law enforcement, financial services, manufacturing and healthcare, BlackBerry AtHoc can provide peace of mind against a range of risks, from service degradation to natural disasters and industrial accidents. AtHoc helps mitigate operational disruption when an incident occurs and gives users visibility into the status of employees and assets to ensure critical business operations are not affected.

David Wiseman, Vice President of Secure Communications at BlackBerry said the new capability to manage the incident response process through Teams will streamline communications and give greater visibility over the recovery progress of an unfolding event. 

Teams creates very specific organizational structures within the platform that can be used to rapidly contact specific users or groups through AtHoc. Delivering unified and end-to-end communications, incident response teams can quickly and securely notify the correct people of an incident and establish a two-way dialogue that keeps all parties informed without needing to leave the Teams application.

BlackBerry has also announced that it has partnered with ServiceNow to integrate the AtHoc service within the Now platform for rapid crisis communications and IT service management. By integrating BlackBerry AtHoc into the Now Platform workflow stack, IT operations teams can now use multiple communications channels in the case of an incident, allowing for more efficient and secure communication.

With this partnership, IT teams will have the ability to alert and assemble a best-in-class crisis team to troubleshoot and resolve any issue such as a critical service outage or an interruption to service, directly within the ServiceNow interface on the Now Platform. Not needing to leave the platform removes the friction of multiple windows and open applications to allow faster incident response and better management of the problem. The audit log can also be used to conduct a post-mortem review of the incident response.

In addition, BlackBerry has launched a new mobile threat defense (MTD) solution that extends the AI-based security in BlackBerry® Protect to mobile devices. Protect Mobile provides security teams with unprecedented visibility into their mobile, desktop, and server endpoints from a single security console, which is critical during a time when remote workers are being targeted with mobile malware and phishing attacks.

Recent studies have reported that mobile phishing is one of the fastest growing threats and global mobile phishing attempts has increased by almost 40% amid the shift to remote work during the pandemic. 

Built on the BlackBerry Spark® Platform, BlackBerry Protect Mobile alerts users before opening URLs and visiting spoofing websites designed to mimic legitimate pages to gather confidential or personal information. It does so by detecting mobile malware attacks at the device and application levels to extend protection without the need for human intervention. It identifies security vulnerabilities and potential malicious activities by monitoring system parameters, device configurations, and system libraries at the application level. It also identifies malware from sideloaded applications, and can ensure that applications are only sourced through secure repositories.

Billy Ho, Executive Vice President of BlackBerry Spark, said the number of phishing attacks that target mobile users will continue to rise because business is being conducted on mobile devices and users are more susceptible to attacks when viewing and accessing content on the go.

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Kylie Bielby has more than 20 years' experience in reporting and editing a wide range of security topics, covering geopolitical and policy analysis to international and country-specific trends and events. Before joining GTSC's Homeland Security Today staff, she was an editor and contributor for Jane's, and a columnist and managing editor for security and counter-terror publications.

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