Silent Circle Targets BlackBerry With Enterprise Push

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Silent Circle targets enterprise communication platform at privacy conscious businesses and government organisations

Silent Circle, creator of the security-focused Blackphone, is moving further into another territory once dominated by BlackBerry – enterprise communications.

The Swiss-based firm hopes the buzz created by the smartphone will help it expand beyond privacy concerned individuals and into corporate environments.

It claims its Enterprise Privacy Platform, a suite of secure software and devices, to businesses, will make it easier to make, secure and manage communications for companies of all sizes and the public sector – traditional areas of strength for BlackBerry.

Silent Phone, which offers encrypted VoIP calls, has been updated so users can make secure calls to landline or mobile numbers in ‘439 destinations’. ‘Out Circle’ calling was first introduced last year, meaning non-Silent Phone users can benefit from added security.

Silent Circle enterprise

SilentCircle_Blackphone2_Angle-FrontBack-reverseThe app also has a premium subscription tier that allows for attachments of up to 100MB, file transfers, voicemail and specialist customer support.

Administrators will also have access to Silent Web Manager, which offers oversight for users, groups and plans as well as a newsfeed showing information from Silent Circle apps. Companies can see how encrypted communications are being used and can store information for compliance reasons.

“Building on the momentum of our Blackphone 2 launch, I’m proud to unleash all the work we have done on rebuilding our software and cloud-based Enterprise Privacy Platform”, said Bill Conner, President and CEO of Silent Circle. “Our platform delivers unprecedented secure communications with the enterprise management controls necessary for auditing and general oversight.

“Cyber security – and in particular the threats posed by data leakage from mobile devices – has become a critical issue for enterprise as organizations face persistent threats to the privacy and security of mobile communications.”

The Blackphone 2 was revealed in September and automatically encrypts all calls and messages sent using the device. The first Blackphone, which runs Silent OS, was shown off at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in 2014.

The smartphones are targeted at security conscious firms who may have previously been fans of BlackBerry and concerned about the security of their data, especially from state surveillance programmes, according to Phil Zimmermann, the creator Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) and Silent Circle founder.

“One of the reasons why we built the Blackhpone is because in all my years in crypto, people have often asked the question ‘Is this NSA-proof?,” he told TechWeekEurope in April. “It is possible to make good crypto protocols but you’re always at risk on the platform you’re running on. We thought the best way was to build the protections into the platform.”

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