BlackBerry Matches Google’s Monthly Security Patches
After a troubled few years, the BlackBerry brand is experiencing a resurgence. Mainstream buyers didn’t warm to the BB OS10 range, yet their recent Android-based devices have seen plenty of interest here at Clove.
For long-time BlackBerry fans though, this switch of operating system brought concerns. Android is not known as a particularly secure platform; something BlackBerry is founded on.
The main issue here though is many people’s understanding of what Android is. Any manufacturer can implement the ‘open-source’ Android in myriad ways. It’s no surprise many device makers aren’t all that fussed about security.
There are several checks in place on BlackBerry’s Android phones to improve security. These include a modified Linux kernel, hardware integrity, secure bootloader and additional encryption. We’ll talk more about these in future articles.
Something else that doesn’t get a lot of press is a commitment to staying up to date with Google’s security patches.
Monthly Security Updates
Google created a monthly security update programme in August 2015. This addressed vulnerabilities discovered by Google or third parties. You can read about every one in detail HERE.
Since then, Google publicly publishes updates to Android source code every month. Major manufacturers get access to these updates early. This is so they can fold them into their own versions of Android.
A huge issue with some manufacturers is the lack of updates they actually deliver, despite being given the information. Google can’t force OEMs to comply. All they can do is provide the details.
Thankfully BlackBerry made a commitment to bringing every patch to their Android phones. The table below (source) is from mid 2016, when the Priv was BlackBerry’s latest phone.
The other OEMs are not named, however we can see how BlackBerry have zero delay in release. This impressive record stayed true throughout 2016 and continued on the DTEK50 & 60 phones.
The only other devices to match this are Nexus and Pixel models.
It’s difficult to underline just how important this is. For anyone that takes their device security seriously, BlackBerry are the only OEM offering a high-end Android solution.
With the keyboard-adorned BlackBerry Mercury due to be unveiled on the 25th, this could be an exciting year.