In a bid to shore up its enterprise business, Research in Motion yesterday announced that later this year users of its BlackBerry devices would be able to send and receive e-mail encrypted by PGP Corp technology.
BlackBerry would become the first wireless device to boast PGP security features, thanks to software developed by RIM.
Called PGP Support Package, the BlackBerry software would work in conjunction with the PGP Universal system. PGP Support Package enables e-mail encryption, decryption, digital signature and verification services for e-mail sent from and received on BlackBerry devices.
Users would authenticate themselves with a private key passphrase before decrypting or signing e-mail on their BlackBerry. A centralized policy specified by the PGP Universal administrator would automatically protect outgoing messages.
The software would be built into the newest 4.1 version BlackBerrys and users require a license from PGP to activate it. A single unit software license would cost about $220 on a perpetual basis. This cost goes down considerably with volume, said Andrew Krcik, VP of marketing with Palo Alto, California-based PGP.
Krcik said the company would strike similar deals with other wireless device makers, but only for those that become prolific in the enterprise space. We would definitely work with any device maker that has a dominant place in the enterprise, he said. We’re just not sure what that adoption timeline will look like.
Mark Guibert, VP of marketing for Ontario, Canada-based RIM, said he expects the news of PGP security on BlackBerrys would be welcomed by many enterprise customers that have chosen and deployed PGP technology.