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RIM Releases OS 7.1 BES IT Policies Including One for SecureKey Browser Plug-In


JF let us know that RIM has posted up a knowledge base article with the new IT policy definitions for OS 7.1 that BES administrators can import into their installations. It includes six new IT policies that can be constrained on OS 7.1 devices with some interesting new additions. Five of the definitions are not anything drastically new but they do mention a new SecureKey Browser Plug-in. Here is the full list of new IT Policy definitions which can be downloaded here:

  • Disable FM Radio
  • Application Installation Methods
  • Application Installation from Specific URLs Only
  • SecureKey Browser Plug-in.
  • IETF WebSocket Connections in Browser
  • Override Hotspot APN Information

From what I have been able to find the SecureKey browser plug-in seems to be part of a two factor authentication service that is being championed by a few companies. Here is how CrunchBase describes the solution:

SecureKey enables service providers to use contactless cards or NFC mobile phones currently deployed to customers as a “what you have” factor to implement strong online mutual authentication. Thus, in addition to “something the customer knows”, i.e. username and password, the service provider can ensure that the customer has also authenticated with something the customer has in-hand before connecting to the secure online service.

In order to authenticate, the customer simply touches his/her contactless form factor to a personal SecureKey token. The cryptographic capabilities of the token enables mutual authentication with the service provider’s web server using industry standard x.509 digital certificates using SSL/TLS secure communication protocol. This process is completely invisible to the customer. When authentication is successfully completed, a secure, encrypted session is established between the user and the online service.

In other words SecureKey utilizes NFC in the latest BlackBerrys to offer up a form of two factor authentication. For example, employees could access certain internal systems by swiping a NFC card against the NFC back of their BlackBerrys. Alternatively it could be used by credit card companies to allow you to checkout on a website by swiping your credit card against the back of a BlackBerry. Check out more details at

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