BlackBerry launches Secure Work Space for Android, iPhones

Service allows Apple and Android users to separate personal data and company information on the same device.

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Steven Musil
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BlackBerry extends its security container for keeping corporate and personal information separate to Android and Apple smartphones. Stephen Shankland/CNET

BlackBerry officially launched a service late Monday that allows Apple and Android users to separate personal data and company information on the same device.

Managed through BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 (BES), the long-anticipated Secure Work Space creates a container to keep corporate applications such as e-mail, calendar, contacts, and tasks separate from users' personal apps. The service is designed to prevent data leakage -- including copy and paste -- between the Secure Work Space elements and the rest of the device.

The module will also create a fully encrypted tunnel to the BES server, ensuring that all communications that originate from the device are secure, even if the Internet connection is not. Clients' IT personnel will also be able to remote wipe the Secure Work Space elements without affecting the personal data or apps on the device.

"With an integrated management console, our clients can now see all of the devices they have on their network, manage those devices and connect to them securely," David Smith, head of enterprise mobile computing at BlackBerry, told Reuters. "We now also have a secure work space on Android and iOS that allows our clients to secure and manage the data on those devices as well."

The new module is expected to help the handset maker sell high-margin services to clients in which many or all of its employees are using devices sold by BlackBerry competitors. BlackBerry devices were once the de rigueur instrument of business communications, but that is no longer the case. The company hopes the new service, along with a trio of new devices, will help it reclaim market share lost to Apple and Samsung.