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Set for January launch, BlackBerry 10 cleared for government use

The new BlackBerry has been certified for government use

The new BlackBerry has been certified for government use

Facing stiff competition from Apple's iPhone – the latest of which Consumer Reports called Apple's best smartphone – Research in Motion (RIM) has been hard-pressed to develop a smartphone that can recapture consumer interest. However, the company's executives promised in a press release Monday that the BlackBerry 10 will do the job.

BlackBerry 10 is actually the platform by which future RIM smartphones will be powered, and one such phone will be released in conjunction with the new platform on January 30, company officials announced today. RIM's latest offering will debut new consumer- and business-centric features. BlackBerry Balance, for example, offers separate profiles for consumer and business use, providing extra encryption data to keep work data safe.

That could be a vital tool for businesses that issue smartphones to employees but are also concerned about mobile security. In fact, mobile security may be the foundation on which RIM wishes to rebuild its market presence. The company announced on Friday that the BlackBerry 10 has already been certified for use by the federal government.

"The BlackBerry 10 platform has recently achieved FIPS 140-2 certification, which means that government agencies will be able to deploy BlackBerry 10 smartphones and BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 as soon as it is available," the company announced in a press release. "This marks the first time BlackBerry products have been certified ahead of their launch."

While many businesses acknowledge the value of personal devices in the workplace, IT executives are rightly concerned about the security risks inherent in such technology. IT consulting firms can aid in the development of a secure IT network that can minimize businesses' exposure to these threats.