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ASIS 2017

Integrated Systems - News

Can security save Blackberry? Is security ever a selling point?

How often is security used as a selling point? You don’t see it very often. Generally greater security is seen as a necessary evil, a corporate “cost.”

Interesting, therefore, to see a company hoping that greater security can help turn around a flagging brand. In this case, security is related to identity protection, and the company is Blackberry.

Blackberry recently signed an agreement to purchase Secusmart, a company that specialises in secure communication for governments, defence ministries and corporations. The Secusmart web site expresses it this way: “The past few years have shown that the future will be all about security.”

Reputation management expert Ken Wisnefski says the purchase responds to concerns of vulnerability among people who are moving more of their lives online. The Secusmart high-security voice and data encryption and anti-eavesdropping technology addresses such concerns. “Corporations, governments and practically everyone else cares about privacy and security when it comes to sensitive information, but today’s online mobile world can make it seem almost unrealistic to secure all of that information,” says Wisenfski, who is the CEO of WebiMax, an online marketing agency that specializes in reputation management, social media and mobile advertising.

Wisenfski notes that Blackberry has been losing serious ground in the mobile device market even as concerns about eavesdropping and security have increased. “If Blackberry can create capable devices that people want, this serious effort to reassure folks that someone is looking out for their mobile security could generate huge value and win them back a sizable share of the market,” comments Wisenfski.

Seems like turning around Blackberry is a lot to expect from even the best data encryption technology. But I wonder if there are other examples out there that address the value of security as a selling point. We have certainly seen the reverse; that is, the harm done to the Target brand by the recent high-profile data breach. Does it work the other way, too?

There was talk at IFSEC about how security can be a “business enabler,” such as making it possible to effectively operate a business in a high-crime area. Wonder if we can take that a step further and say that there are instances when security, even physical security, provides a competitive advantage? I would love to hear about any examples of that.

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