BlackBerry chases businesses with new security tablet

BlackBerry launched a high security tablet with input from Samsung and IBM at CeBIT, hoping to take back some share of the corporate mobile space.

The SecuTABLET is based upon the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5, but hasn't yet been certified by any security agency, leaving questions about how successful it will be.

The secure 'wrapping' has been developed by IBM, protecting the tablet against hackers, even if malware is inadvertently installed on the device.

BlackBerry said in a statement: "With the new secure tablet for national and international public sector markets and enterprises, data that is subject to special security requirements can be used on the move.

"Personal applications or those that are not additionally secured, such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and WhatsApp, can also be used."

The tablet is based on BlackBerry's 2014 acquisition of SecuSMART, a security communications suite that offers high-grade solutions for organisations including public sector departments and private enterprises.

It allows the use of 'consumer' applications including Facebook, WhatsApp, and Twitter alongside corporate applications.

The SecuTABLET will not be available for consumers, although its success may depend on whether it manages to get the German Federal Office for Information Security for the German VS-NfD (classified for official use only) security rating.

Stefan Hefter, senior management consultant with IBM, said:"The SecuTABLET closes a supply gap and opens up for government and administrations an opportunity to derive greater benefit from digitization and the mobile Internet, with system integration as a fundamental success factor."

The BlackBerry SecuTABLET is the company's first tablet launch since its rather botched attempt at creating a larger enterprise device back in 2011. The PlayBook was a 7-inch tablet that never quite took off, despite its reasonable price point.

Clare Hopping
Freelance writer

Clare is the founder of Blue Cactus Digital, a digital marketing company that helps ethical and sustainability-focused businesses grow their customer base.

Prior to becoming a marketer, Clare was a journalist, working at a range of mobile device-focused outlets including Know Your Mobile before moving into freelance life.

As a freelance writer, she drew on her expertise in mobility to write features and guides for ITPro, as well as regularly writing news stories on a wide range of topics.