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U.K. squeezes BlackBerry security


CESG - the information assurance arm of the U.K. government communication headquarters (GCHQ) yesterday granted approval for government employees to use BlackBerry devices from Canadian vendor Research In Motion (RIM) to handle restricted data.

CESG is the U.K.'s national technical authority for information assurance and provides guidance to public and private bodies involved in secure data transmission.

Due to the popularity of BlackBerry devices with businesses and governments worldwide, RIM said it has been working with evaluation teams at CESG in Cheltenham to gain the U.K. government's approval for broader public sector use.

Following the first phase of the evaluation, CESG released guidance that allows government customers to start deploying BlackBerry devices to their mobile staff. The guidance covers email, attachment viewing and access to application data through the BlackBerry Mobile Data System.

The BlackBerry Enterprise Solution allows users to access their information wirelessly, while protecting their data against attack. The offering uses the Triple Data Encryption Standard (Triple-DES) and Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) encryption methods to encrypt data for wireless transmission and AES encryption to protect data stored on the device.

AES and Triple DES are both widely trusted encryption technologies that are considered computationally secure, RIM said. The BlackBerry Enterprise Solution is designed so that data remains encrypted during transit between the BlackBerry Enterprise Server and a BlackBerry handheld device, allowing for the secure transmission of "restricted" data.

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