The Internet of Things (IoT) market is rapidly growing as more and more manufacturers add connectivity to the new products. The area of concern for IoT now mainly includes security problems. According to observations, the manufacturers miss out on designing the security features. Implementation of IoT has become a little hindered. Several organizations are trying to understand and solve a range of software and hardware security issues in the connected products. To succeed in the IoT market, vertical focus and expertise in the field is necessary.
According to a recent Forbes report, “BlackBerry is focused on a small number of regulated industries such as automotive, financial services, healthcare and government where security and data privacy are requirements. Overall 75% of the companies interviewed by Lopez Research said security was the top inhibitor to IoT deployments.”
Launch of BlackBerry Spark Platform
BlackBerry has also made an attempt over the past two months to address the security issues in IoT such as to draw more engagement from the enterprise market.BlackBerry announced its concern in the Internet of Things through the launch of BlackBerry Spark platform at an event in the United Kingdom in September 2018. BlackBerry had reported, “BlackBerry Spark leverages the company’s deep portfolio of technology that has earned 80+ certifications. It includes FIPS-validated, app-level, AES 256-bit encryption to ensure the data is protected on a device, across the mobile network and into a company’s infrastructure.”
The BlackBerry Spark platform will allow the equipment manufacturers to develop with high standard security and safety-certifications like the ISO 26262 standard in automobiles. Organizations will be able to comply with the regulatory requirements of different nations as well as Common Criteria EAL4+ for both iOS and Android systems. Also, BlackBerry Spark platform will allow the enterprise customers to monitor and check the IoT devices without worrying about the operating system. They can do it through snap-in existing platform services and a single pane of glass. Android Things, Azure, AWS, and Watson are some of the snap-in existing platform services that the enterprises can utilize.
NOC and Blockchain Digital Ledger
To progress further, BlackBerry had announced in a U.S. event in October 2018. There are some new partnerships and projects. They focus on improving security for patient care solutions. NOC, BlackBerry’s carrier-grade network operation center will now be used to power a blockchain digital ledger that is provided by ONEBIO. NOC first design was to ensure secure mobile communications. The objective is to develop a secure global ecosystem where medical data can be stored and shared securely. Then, data added by laboratories, patients or IoT biometric devices will be collected and stored on the platform after they have been anonymized to ensure the privacy of the patient. Thus, researchers can share the data.
Experimentation and Tests
Global Commission is focused on curing rare childhood diseases. It is currently unclear whether BlackBerry’s real-time solution will be able to shorten the time to diagnosis. Global Commission has also partnered up with Mackenzie Innovation Institute (Mi2) to see how BlackBerry Spark platform will complement Mi2’s smart healthcare technology offerings. On the other hand, Melanoma Institute Australia (MIA) has already implemented BlackBerrys Workspaces. Doctors and researchers can study and share patient records and critical research data securely.
BlackBerry has also launched QNX OS for Medical 2.0 that will secure the medical devices. This is similar to QNX for automobiles that are secure and compliant with IEC 62304 safety-certification standards. BlackBerry Spark can be used to develop healthcare products like patient monitoring systems, robotic surgical instruments, and infusion pumps. According to the Forbes report, “It’s field-proven in thousands of life-critical environments, including in FDA Class III medical devices.”
BlackBerry had expressed interest in involvement into the IoT landscape at the event in April 2018. Even though BlackBerry was working on transitioning to a licensing strategy and higher margin software, its growth prospects were not so evident. The QNX of BlackBerry had alone driven the BlackBerry Technology Solutions business revenue to substantial profits. As per Forbes report, it’s the third consecutive quarter of nearly 30% year-over-year revenue growth.
The BlackBerry announcements clearly show that the company is focusing on increasing its strengths to develop a software model. It will help the enterprise customers to add to the security of their data and devices. The partnership announcements and QNX OS for Medical 2.0 can give a brief glimpse of where it could lead to. Healthcare IT is currently lagging behind in technology adoptions compared to many other sectors. And BlackBerry’s interest in the Internet of Things can pave the way for development.