Blackberry Z10 - no BIS = no secure email
I've been trying to find out what the absence of BIS on the new Z10 will mean. Here's an interesting article from The Register:
BIS, bash, bosh: El Reg solves BlackBerry 10 email bafflement ? The Register
So in other words, for non-BES users who before the Z10 would have to have had a BIS add-on from there service provider, the Z10 will access email like any other smartphone and not securely through BIS. This being the case - what is the difference between the Z10 and any other smartphone?
The whole point of Blackberries is SECURE E-MAIL. Remove that, the phone is just another smartphone.
- 02-09-13, 06:21 AM #2
There are many other ways to secure email traffic other than BIS, many secure email protocols are used today by ISPs such as Gmail, Hotmail/Outlook.com, etc... BIS was the secure way to manage email when almost no ISP were using secure email protocols.
These also means the other smartphones manage email in a secure way nowadays.
- 02-09-13, 06:24 AM #3
There is no reason to go for Z10 when emails are just as in any other smartphone...Android has all the apps, BB does not...so why buy a z10 when you dont get what was the selling point in Blackberry for years i.e Secure Email, compressed data?
- 02-09-13, 06:35 AM #4
Also, despite what the article states, BlackBerry did NOT and could NEVER provide "end-to-end encrypted push email" (and BlackBerry never promised to do so) *through* BIS when dealing with other, mostly consumer, email systems. Think about it, a message sent from Gmail to Gmail, let's say BlackBerry devices are on both ends:
BlackBerry device > [secure path] > BIS > [secure path if Google is willing to cooperate] > Google's Gmail servers > [whatever path Google figures is appropriate] > Google's Gmail servers > [secure path if Google is willing to cooperate] > BIS > [secure path] > BlackBerry device
Now, let's see what happens when a message would travel from an account with some small-town ISP to an email on some "enthusiast" server, again BlackBerry devices are on both ends:
BlackBerry device > [secure path] > BIS > [probably plain text] > some rinky dinky email server > [now pay attention here: path = OPEN INTERNETS, most likely in plain text] > another rinky dinky email server, probably even more poorly maintained and full of holes > [most likely plain text] > BIS > [secure path] > BlackBerry device
With BlackBerry 10, it's up to your email provider to provide secure email to you and your device. If you want more secure email, don't look at BlackBerry, look at your email provider. Of course, if you'd like BlackBerry's actually secure solution (BES), BlackBerry will happily oblige.
The point of BIS was sanity and convenience for the darker times when most email providers did NOT provide open standards (see AOL, Google and Microsoft) and this created such an issue for mobile devices that BlackBerry figured to take on handling this internally. Now that every legitimate email service supports IMAP and some even support Exchange ActiveSync at no cost, BIS is no longer necessary to have decent interoperability, which was one of the main goals of BIS.
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- 02-09-13, 06:49 AM #5
Dude I work for an MSP and a lot our clients use BIS and BES on their BB's, not one of them has a @blackberry.net account...all their non-BES accounts were setup through their device which how the Z10 does it. I had a @blackberry.net account for the last couple of years and do you how many times I used it? Maybe 50 times.
So the only "real" thing that has changed is that BIS no longer works, the rest does plus they made a few minor improvements.
- 02-09-13, 07:29 AM #8
ActiveSync works flawless, I get emails as they come into my Exchange server. The biggest complaint with BES5 sending emails was that if you didn't have a spam filter device in front of your mail server that spam email would get to your device before it had a chance to be filtered. Going through ActiveSync which is secure is the best route, as far as the other email service providers, I don't live on my computer 24/7 like some of you must do and count the minutes (if it takes a minute or more) as emails come into my accounts and arrive to my device because I have better things to do in my life!
ActiveSync is fast, our clients who have a mix of BB, Apple and Android emails come in to their devices a second or two before they hit their inbox in Outlook.
So really stop your freaking complaining because lets face is you have NOTHING to complain about! LOL
- 02-09-13, 07:44 AM #10
Yes, there was a false sense of security, just like Mac people think they're secure from Windows problems through "obscurity." But you do have a point. Having BIS did give a peace of mind, namely, that BlackBerry was minding the house and that they were always actively working to make sure that email gets delivered efficiently and quickly.
Unfortunately, consumers don't feel like paying BlackBerry for email services and being data-efficient has become a much greater liability than an asset vis-a-vis the network carriers who just want to make you rack up as much data usage (and therefore charges) as possible.
All is not lost, however. BlackBerry 10 is decidedly a more robust, secure platform with much more room to grow than the dated legacy BlackBerry OS. There's only so much you can achieve with bolt-ons. We gain a modern, smooth and attractive OS with support for modern, open technologies implemented in such a way that you're not forcibly tied to BlackBerry's services should you choose not to use them.
- CrackBerry Addict
02-09-13, 08:12 AM #11
- 799 Posts
- PM me
The security used in encrypted IMAP or ActiveSync is every bit as secure as BIS, just don't ignore certificate errors if you ever get them. BIS provided a small security advantage when using unencrypted email providers, as it encrypted *part* of the connection, but there's very few email providers that don't offer encrypted connections these days. If you're using a big name it's as secure as BIS.
On the upside you no longer need a BlackBerry plan, I'm currently traveling and when I was last here with my 9900 I had to make do without email as BlackBerry data was only available on postpaid. Now I just walk into a Vodafone (or other provider) and get a SIM with no problems, a huge improvement compared to before.
Posted using CrackBerry App on BB10
I'm at a loss what to think. If BB are now removing BIS then effectively Blackberry is just another smartphone maker. They seem to be pushing us into the cloud whilst at the same time removing cloud syncing (eg BB Protect on Z10 no longer backs up data). I just don't trust big providers like Google not to abuse my personal data. I admit I don't know how to set up truly secure email but if I can do this on ANY smartphone then why do I need a Blackberry? I always felt, perhaps mistakenly, reassured with the level of security on a Blackberry.
- CrackBerry Abuser
02-09-13, 09:11 AM #16
- 217 Posts
Can't really add anymore. Just to interject that BBM is encrypted on the devices themselves and transmitted with encryption. So with properly set up E-Mail, things are as secure as before. Also, regarding the 'push' issue, my Playbook genuinely receives e-mails before my 9780, so I'm sure this will also be fine. I may miss compression, at times, but times are changing..
- 02-09-13, 09:20 AM #17
- CrackBerry Abuser
02-09-13, 09:29 AM #18
- 217 Posts
This is speculation, but I'd like to think that the NOC now paves the way for
RIMBlackBerry to leverage secure data transfer in other markets; therefore they've tapered down how it's used by consumers' smartphones. Probably because it's genuinely not needed. They have hinted at this but I suppose we'll be a way off and a lot rides on how BB10 fares!
I think there is at best confusion 'out there' regarding secure email. Speaking for myself I was certainly under the impression that BIS with encryption of 256bit was more secure than ActiveSync which even today I think uses only SSL encryption of 128bit - please correct me if I'm wrong, I freely admit I don't know as much about this as I should.
I guess the point I was making is that if Blackberry are removing all the security features that were the traditional Blackberry hallmarks, then what exactly is the thrust of the company's business? Effectively the Z10 will just be another iClone.
There is a security issue as well. If I lost my Blackberry with BIS, and someone put a non-BIS enabled sim in the handset (assuming I was dumb enough not to set a password lock), they would NOT be able to access my emails at all as the handset would not connect to the Blackberry servers. If they put in a BIS enabled SIM, they would have to re-verify the password for all my email accounts. On the Z10, I managed to swap sims from my other handset and I was able to access my emails. So if I lost the handset or it was stolen there is no in-built protection compared to using a handset which required a BIS-enabled SIM. This is surely a step backward.
- CrackBerry Genius
02-09-13, 06:00 PM #22
- 2,468 Posts
Blackberry is much more than just a phone for me. It's a community of fervent BlackBerry enthusiasts that I get to do life with every day. We are a standalone group who are dedicated to an awesome company that brought smartphones into the world. The name alone has a deep history that I feel a part of. Been with them through the good times, the bad times and now into the new age with BB10. It's an exciting ride!
I'm not a gamer and not a flashy guy. I'm not seeking the newest and the best. My BlackBerry's have always done what I wanted them to do and nothing more. Friends have always pulled out their iCrap and Dwoids around me to show off the latest this and that. My response has always been, "That's good for you. Glad you have something that makes you happy. I do too.". I know people who have simply bought new phones just so they can be with the "in crowd" and not made fun of. Never bothered me to have my BlackBerry sneered at. "I might not have the youngest and prettiest dog, but it's MY dog and I love it." has always been my feeling.
This has been quite a ride all these years and I've ridden with a family. A family unlike any other. A family of that has a common love of all things BlackBerry. And like any family, it can be distressing and quite dysfunctional at times. That's because it's a real family. I look around and all I see is just another iPhone (blah, blah, yawn). When I meet BlackBerry users, it's like an instant comradeship. We have a connection that goes beyond "Look at my new app!". It's deep and close and I enjoy it very much and I will be here until the day that BlackBerry gives up the ghost....or I do.
- CrackBerry Abuser
02-09-13, 11:46 PM #23
- 437 Posts
I have had this in my mind for awhile. Z10 is okay without BIS, but they should at LEAST give BIS as an option, like say, sign up 5 dollars and you have an agreement with RIM to have BIS served to you, attach to your blackberry ID (so you can swap SIM and continue to enjoy BIS). I really enjoy data compression now LTE eats data like a superstar
- 02-10-13, 12:01 AM #24
2. For LTE specifically, BlackBerry's rationale is (said to be) that using compression and routing through BIS actually results in *slower* data delivery because LTE is so much better (lower latency, faster speed, fatter pipe, etc). People tend to value speed and convenience over cost savings when cost isn't too high. Cost of mobile data is dropping.
- CrackBerry Abuser
02-10-13, 12:14 AM #25
- 437 Posts
Data cost did come down so... BIS is no longer relevant but for people that roams, each kb of data does cost a fortune so I was quite sad when there was no BIS, meaning the BB10 must be polling the server from time to time for new email :3
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