Everyday Life Is the Blueprint for This BlackBerry 10 Elite Developer’s Successful Apps


BlackBerry 10 developers dedicate their time to providing the millions of BlackBerry users the freedom of choice to use the apps that matter to them. Elite members are recognized for their ongoing contributions to the developer community (through technology forums and user groups), applications submitted to BlackBerry World, and enthusiasm around the BlackBerry platform. In gratitude, BlackBerry is spotlighting some of our most prolific developers. Meet the people that make the BlackBerry 10 apps that you love.

I’ve already had the opportunity to interview Marco Gallo, creator of All-Notes Backup and Air Messages; Michael Muth, creator of the BlackBullet and ClipMan apps; Alessandro Bellotti, creator of 30 BlackBerry 10 apps, including Echo – Voice Recorder and Call Blocker and ReCallBrian Scheirer, creator of the Work Wide app; Jerome Carty, creator of 11 BlackBerry apps, including Twitter app Blaq; and Oliver Martinez, creator of 14 BlackBerry 10 apps, including the Face10 app.

This post was originally published on Inside BlackBerry Blog.

CineTV10moviesToday I am sharing my interview with Alex Christou, a BlackBerry Developer Elite and founder of TZapps, a mobile applications company based in Greece, and the creator of CineTV10, Alpha Browser, and Night Selfie Camera, to name a few.

Here’s what Alex had to share with us:

How long have you been developing on the BlackBerry platform and what attracted you to it?

I started developing apps for BlackBerry when the first beta of BlackBerry 10 SDK was released.

As a long-time BlackBerry user, I was excited to experience the transition from BlackBerry OS to BlackBerry 10 – and I was not disappointed. I loved the clean and smooth interface of BlackBerry 10, as well as the gestures to access different features of the device. BlackBerry 10 is the only platform that offers an easy way to read long emails, edit documents, and respond to all my notifications in one place, which gives me the reassurance that I can be reachable and productive no matter where I am. But what really won me over was knowing that BlackBerry 10 was built on the company’s strong background in security, giving me one less thing to worry about.

Are there features that stand out?

Other than the keyboard and BBM? Who needs more? I think BlackBerry 10 is still the very best mobile operating system in the market. It is very easy to use with a clean interface and offers a natural, seamless transition to and from apps. My favorite feature is the BlackBerry Hub, which allows me to find all my communications and notifications in one place and keeps me organized. Plus, with BlackBerry’s keyboard, I’m able to respond at lightning fast-speeds – a feature that is simply unbeatable to me.

What kind of support have you received from BlackBerry?

Christou_UniversalAll the support a developer wishes for. Super active forums, samples, BlackBerry experts and evangelists always available and reachable, webinars, Jam events (I really miss those though), and the incredible BlackBerry Developer Community!

How did you get into developing apps?

I actually don’t have a developer background, but I fell in love with BlackBerry with my first BlackBerry device. I live in Greece, and when I first got my device, BlackBerry was considered to be a strictly business-only phone and platform. There were almost no local apps available for consumers. However, I learned that BlackBerry 10 was in development, so I took advantage of the opportunity to work with other developers and fans to create a local developer group. Soon thereafter, we went from zero consumer apps to nearly a thousand apps available on BlackBerry 10 – all developed in Greece. We saw the huge potential, and there were so many tools available to get involved. Step by step and app by app, with the help of some portathons, I created more than 50 apps myself and things got serious.

Tell us about your apps – what are your inspirations?

I find inspiration for my apps through my personal life and create solutions that help me stay organized and in the know-how. The best thing about BlackBerry 10 apps is the integration with other apps, like calendar, contacts, and more, to create a more seamless experience.

I am a huge TV and movie fan, so CineTV10 fills my need to be alerted about the latest films available and news in the industry. It provides upcoming movie trailers, episode guides for TV shows, movies that actors played in, and notifications on when your favorite TV show will air next. Plus, you can create a calendar entry for the next episode of your favorite series or a release date for a movie, share a trailer for an upcoming movie on any social network, or share some movie details with your friends over BBM.

BlueprintsOne of my other apps, Blueprints, was created to help me and my better half organize a floor plan in our apartment. I couldn’t find a simple solution, so once again, I created one. I filled it with features that would be found in a typical blueprint, such as different shapes and colors, so it mirrored something people understood, but in an easy-to-use app.

What kind of momentum have you seen for your apps?

Nearly every app that I have launched was accompanied by video reviews from fan sites, which attribute to a significant number of downloads. I also saw a big uptick for CineTV10 during the last BlackBerry World Christmas Giveaway, where several apps are free for a limited time. It was the least I could do for BlackBerry community across the world, to offer one of my best apps for free as a token of my appreciation for the support I got over the years.

What other apps have you developed for BB10? Are any in the works now?

WebSplitter was my first ever app that got noticed and generated sales from almost every country in the world. Sounds for BBM, Alpha Browser, and Trendy deserve an honorable mention, along with Hangman Battles. I am a huge soccer fan, so I’m working on a native live score app that covers every league in the world and it really looks good so far.

What’s the greatest moment you’ve had with BlackBerry?

My whole experience with BlackBerry has provided me with the opportunity to meet so many great people and travel the world. I have to choose BlackBerry Jam Europe in Amsterdam as one of my greatest moments because I didn’t go there alone. Our Greek “gang” was there, and we were recognized for our work as a developer group and put Greece on the map for the number of apps and games we created. I was able to spend time with my BlackBerry friends from around the world, and I was also able get my hands on the Limited Edition Z10 for the first time – just making it an unbelievable experience.

Alex Christou has developed more than a dozen BB10 apps under the TZapps label. He’s a BlackBerry Developer Elite who lives in Greece. You can learn more about him and his work on his blog or follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

Source: Developer Blackberry

Zachary Milot: A student using Surface to study Marine Science

Today, I’m highlighting Zachary Milot, a 19-year-old sophomore who is using Surface to study Marine Science at Boston University. I’ve been talking to a lot of students recently and what stood out and really inspired me about Zach was how he’s not afraid to change direction and go for what he knows he believes in.

Zachary Milot using his Surface to study Marine Science

“My Surface keeps everything in one place: my notes, my programs and websites, my music, and my projects and papers.”

Before Zach even went to college he enrolled in a vocational high school to learn how to design websites and code – it’s just a hobby now in his spare time but a really valuable skill for any student. Like most high school grads, Zach didn’t know exactly what career he wanted to pursue when he started college and began with Electrical Engineering at University of Massachusetts Lowell. He has since changed to Marine Science to follow his dreams to work in big data to find migration patterns in the ocean.

“The ocean is such an integral piece of this planet. It’s my job to study the organisms in it, and hopefully, one day make a difference with data.”

— Zachary Milot

In between all Zach’s studying, he has a job at Best Buy, plays the saxophone, wants to learn guitar, makes websites, loves traveling and somehow makes time to enjoy college with his friends! Zach says his Surface Pro 3 helps free up his time because he’s able to use OneNote to keep his studies more organized. OneNote makes a huge difference to college students across the world – the ability to keep all your notes organized in one place, keep them synced with any phone and best of all write notes or draw diagrams using Surface Pen directly onto the screen like you would with a traditional pen and paper. Ultimately, making simple tasks at college easier and freeing up time to pursue the hobbies that you are passionate about.

Zach told me how his Surface Pro 3 (6th Gen Intel Core i7) easily runs intensive programs like Adobe Creative Cloud and Visual Studio Community for his creative hobbies in addition to Wolfram Mathematica and MatLab back when he was studying electrical engineering. He loves the fact that it easily switches from a laptop to tablet for note taking and is really light weight to carry around all day. Zach saved up his own money to buy a Surface and in his own words “this really is a laptop that suits all my needs as a college student, so worth the investment”.

To close off, I asked Zach what his 3 top tech tips would be for any incoming freshman:

  1. Backup and save everything! You never know when you get that next idea for your project or paper, or when you will accidentally close it. Yikes.
  2. A 2k monitor is perfect with a Surface for watching movies with your friends
  3. Make sure you keep good digital notes! Taking notes on any computer is a skill that needs to be perfected through time.

If you’d like to learn more about getting the most out of your Surface for college or looking into what’s right for you, please visit the Surface.com.

Source: Windows

Introducing the UWP Community Toolkit

Recently, we released the Windows Anniversary Update and a new Windows Software Developer Kit (SDK) for Windows 10 containing tools, app templates, platform controls, Windows Runtime APIs, emulators and much more, to help create innovative and compelling Universal Windows apps.

Today, we are introducing the open-source UWP Community Toolkit, a new project that enables the developer community to collaborate and contribute new capabilities on top of the SDK.

We designed the toolkit with these goals in mind:

1. Simplified app development: The toolkit includes new capabilities (helper functions, custom controls and app services) that simplify or demonstrate common developer tasks. Where possible, our goal is to allow app developers to get started with just one line of code.
2. Open-Source: The toolkit (source code, issues and roadmap) will be developed as an open-source project. We welcome contributions from the .NET developer community.
3. Alignment with SDK: The feedback from the community on this project will be reflected in future versions of the Windows SDK for Windows 10.

For example, the toolkit makes it easy to share content from your app with social providers like Twitter, taking care of all the OAuth authentication steps for you behind the scenes.

            // Initialize service
            TwitterService.Instance.Initialize("ConsumerKey", "ConsumerSecret", "CallbackUri");

            // Login to Twitter
            await TwitterService.Instance.LoginAsync();
            // Post a tweet
            await TwitterService.Instance.TweetStatusAsync("Hello UWP!");

Additionally, the toolkit provides extension methods that allow developers to animate UI elements with just one line of code.

await element.Rotate(30f).Fade(0.5).Offset(5f).StartAsync();

Below you will find more details about the features in the first release, how to get started, the roadmap and how to contribute.

UWP Community Toolkit 1.0

The toolkit can be used by any new or existing UWP application written in C# or VB.NET. Our goal is to support the latest and previous stable release of the SDK and at this time, the toolkit is compatible with apps developed with Windows 10 SDK Build 10586 or above.

The toolkit can be used to build UWP apps for any Windows 10 device, including PC, Mobile, XBOX, IoT and HoloLens. You can also use the toolkit with an existing desktop app converted to UWP using the Desktop Bridge.

Here are just some of the features included in the first release of the toolkit.


We are also releasing the UWP Community Toolkit Sample App in the Windows Store that makes it easy to preview the toolkit capabilities even before installing the tools or downloading the SDK. The app will also allow you to easily copy & paste the code you will need to get started using the toolkit in your project.


Getting Started

It’s easy to get started:

1. Download Visual Studio 2015 with Update 3 and the Windows 10 SDK
2. Create a new UWP project (or open an existing one)
3. Launch Visual Studio 2015
4. Create a new project using the Blank App template under Visual C# Windows Universal

Image 3

5. Add the UWP Community Toolkit to your project
6. In Solution Explorer panel, right click on your project name and select “Manage NuGet Packages”


7. Search for “Microsoft.Toolkit.UWP”
8. Select desired packages and install them


9. Add a reference to the toolkit in your XAML pages or C#

          a. In your XAML page, add a reference at the top of your page

<Page  x:Class="MainPage"

          b. In your C# page, add the namespaces to the toolkit

using Microsoft.Toolkit.Uwp;
namespace MyApp

10. You can copy & paste code snippets for each feature from the Sample App, or find more details in the documentation.


In the future, we plan to release stable updates through the Visual Studio NuGet package at a regular cadence.

The toolkit is completely open-sourced on GitHub, including the source code of the toolkit, source code of the sample app and even the documentation. The roadmap for the next release is available here.

  • If you need to report a bug or share a feature request, please use this form.
  • If you would like to contribute your code, please start from here.

We are excited about the contributions that several community members already submitted in this first release, including Morten Nielsen, Scott Lovegrove, Pedro Lamas, Oren Novotny, James Croft, Diederik Krols, Hermit Dave, Thomas Nigro, Laurent Bugnion, Samuel Blanchard and Rudy Hyun. We are looking forward to continuing to grow the toolkit with even more community contributions.

So please go browse the sample app and learn about the experiences, then grab the NuGet package yourself and play around. We want developers to give us feedback on the usability and helpfulness of the features that exist in the toolkit. There is much to do in an open source project: we can get some help to improve accessibility and localization, and ensure the current capabilities work for all apps.

And while you are at it, JOIN THE FUN!

Giorgio Sardo, Principal Group Program Manager, Windows/PAX

David Catuhe, Principal Program Manager, Windows/PAX

Source: Windows

Customer segmentation and push notifications: a new Windows Dev Center Insider Program feature

We’re excited to announce that we’ve added a new customer segmentation and push notifications feature to the Windows Dev Center Insider Program. To try it out, you’ll need to join the Dev Center Insider Program if you haven’t done so already. Then, get started with an overview video to see detailed steps on how to create segments and push notifications. With this feature, you can quickly create custom notifications to send to your app’s customers—all of them, or to only a selected segment that meets the criteria you define, like demographics and purchase status. Customer segments and notifications can be used to encourage desired actions (like buying something) or for loyalty and retention campaigns, maximizing cross and up-sell opportunities, identifying product differentiation strategies and discovering what each segment finds most valuable.

When defining a customer segment, you first select a specific app. Then you can create AND/OR queries that include or exclude customers based on attributes such as app acquisitions, acquisition source and demographic criteria, with options to refine further. You can also select criteria related to first time purchase status, total Store spend, and total spend within the app you’ve selected. Most of these attributes are calculated using all historical data, although there are some exceptions: App acquisition date, Campaign ID, Store page view date and Referrer URI domain are limited to the last 90 days of data. The segment will only include customers who have acquired your app on Windows 10; if you support older OS versions, downloads on those older OS versions will not be included in any segments you create.  You won’t be able to create customer segments that don’t meet a minimum size threshold, and only adult age groups are included in any customer segment.

To define a segment of your app’s customers:

  1. Click Customer groups from the left navigation pane of your Dev Center dashboard.
  2. Use a segment template or click Create new group.
  3. Choose your app and construct your own filter criteria.
  4. Click Run to apply your filters and see quick results.
  5. Save your segment for later use.

After you save a segment, it will become available to use for notifications after 24 hours. Segment results are refreshed daily, so you may see the total count of customers in a segment change from day to day as customers drop in or out of the segment criteria.

To send a custom notification to a segment of your app’s customers:

  1. Register your app to receive notifications.
  2. From your Dev Center dashboard, select your app.
  3. Click Services from the left navigation pane.
  4. Click Push notifications.
  5. Click New notification to create the notification.
  6. Define your notification and parameters.
  7. If you have not already created your segment as described above, click Create new customer group. If you have already created your segment, it will appear in the drop-down list (after 24 hours from the time you created the segment).
  8. Schedule the time to deliver the notification, and then click Save.

Please try it out and let us know what you think. What additional attributes would you like? What else would help? Please give us your feedback using the Feedback link at the bottom right corner of any page in Dev Center, or take our 2-minute survey.

Source: Windows

Announcing Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 14905 for PC & Mobile

Hello Windows Insiders!

Yesterday, we began rolling out the Windows 10 Anniversary Update for Windows 10 Mobile. Thank you to all of the Windows Insiders who downloaded the Cumulative Updates first and gave us feedback that helped us prepare for this release to our customers. Today we are excited to be releasing Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 14905 for PC AND Mobile to Windows Insiders in the Fast ring! This is our first new Mobile build from our Development Branch after launching the Windows 10 Anniversary Update yesterday for Windows 10 phones. We know you all have been excited for Mobile builds to start up again as have we!

Here’s what’s new in Build 14905 for Mobile

  • We are introducing a newly refined sound set in this build, uniting the best of our past and present. We aspire to set a new bar for mobile sound set quality, and are trying to make the soundscape of technology more beautiful and harmonious. This also helps align with new sound design direction of the Windows platform as a whole, so that mobile sounds will family with desktop and tablet and be feel instantly familiar to all Windows users. We will continue to evolve – head to Settings > Personalization > Sounds to see the updated list of available sounds and let us know what you think!

Improvements and fixes for PC

  • We have fixed an issue causing a large blank space to appear between the address bar and web content after the address bar moves back to the top when opening a new tab in Microsoft Edge.
  • We have updated Narrator Scan mode for table navigation to now support CTRL + ALT + HOME to go to the beginning of the table CTRL + ALT + END to go to the end of the table.
  • Microsoft Edge now supports the CTRL + O keyboard shortcut for setting focus to the address bar.
  • We fixed an issue resulting in Sketchpad and Screen Sketch crashing after trying to change the ink color twice in a row when the ruler was visible.

Improvements and fixes for Mobile

  • Missed call notifications are now more actionable, with inline options to call back, text or remind yourself to do something about it later.
  • We fixed an issue where videos played in Windows Phone 8 apps might not pause when an incoming call was received.
  • We fixed an issue where, if “Show my caller ID” is set to “My contacts”, the contact being called might still see a blocked caller ID.
  • We fixed an issue where the Lock screen might fail to update to the new time after a time zone change.
  • We fixed an issue resulting in music not resuming after a call was finished, if Turn-by-Turn directions were being read out from the Maps app when the phone call came in.

Known issues for PC

  • Support for kernel debugging over 1394 has been removed, but will be available in an upcoming kit release. A work-around will be posted to the Debugging Tools for Windows Blog shortly.
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader crashes when you try to launch it.
  • Cortana’s text to speech capabilities is not working in this build. For example, Cortana won’t be able to read text messages out loud for you, tell jokes, sing, or give verbal prompts.
  • When clicking on the power button on the Start menu, it closes the Start menu without opening the flyout with restart/shutdown options appearing. As a workaround – you can right-click on the Start button (or WIN + X) and choose to shutdown via this menu instead.
  • Apps such as Yahoo Mail, Trivia Crack, Google and the Skype Translator Preview app will crash in this build due to a compatibility issue from a recent platform change.
  • The Settings app may crash on certain editions of Windows 10 when navigating to different settings pages due to a missing .dll file. We are working on getting this fixed soon.

Known issues for Mobile

  • If you move apps between a SD card and internal storage (either direction), those apps will get stuck in a pending state. The workaround to get your apps working again is to uninstall the app through Settings > System > Storage (apps cannot be uninstalled from All apps list). Then you can re-install the app from the Store.
  • Cortana’s text to speech capabilities is not working in this build. For example, Cortana won’t be able to read text messages out loud for you, tell jokes, sing, or give verbal prompts.

A few months ago, we set out to design a new T-shirt for the Windows Insiders Program – and what better source for ideas than Windows Insiders themselves! So, we organized a design competition with a few simple rules:

1. Come up with a design that reflected the innovative spirit of the Windows Insider Program

2. Include the Windows logo and a call out to Windows Insiders.

In just a few weeks, we received some absolutely amazing designs from around the world. After a long – and often heated – selection process (including a vote by the Windows Insider community), our judges narrowed it down to five finalists before picking the ultimate winner: a beautiful design concept by E. Bautista from the United States. The final design below (zoom in to see the finer details) will soon be available on the eCompanyStore. We’ll let you know when it’s ready. Thanks to everyone for participating and congratulations to our finalists – and ultimate winner!

Final WIP T-shirt Contest Design

Thank you for everything you do and your amazing passion for Windows. We love you.

Keep hustling,
Dona <3

Source: Windows

BBM is Fit for Companies and Friends to Collaborate


BBM offers a couple of different ways for groups of people, from enterprise co-workers, to business associates, to friends and relatives, to communicate and collaborate: group chat and Groups. They are two separate features inside BBM.

Unfortunately one of these options – group chat – has apparently been in “stealth” mode for years! Many of our users didn’t know about it because they never discovered it. That’s why we’ve given group chat more prominent placement in the latest release, now available from BlackBerry World, App Store, and Google Play.

Group Chat: Communicate, Coordinate, Keep In Touch

Formerly called “multiperson chat,” group chats are just like 1:1 chats, but with more people – up to 250 people, actually. Also like 1:1 chats, group chats let you share stickers, pictures, voice notes, and your Glympse location. You can also name your group chats to make them easier to remember.

Group chats are great for:

  • Communicating with a large group
  • Coordinating get-togethers, gift-buying, or decisions among friends, family, and coworkers
  • Staying in touch with former colleagues, classmates, teammates, etc.

Now, when you initiate a chat, you can choose to make it a group chat and select multiple contacts. You can use the start chat button in the lower right, and then select Start Group Chat.


Or you can tap the three dots in the upper right and then select Start Group Chat.


BBM Groups: Organize, Schedule, Assign

BBM Groups provide a lot more options to help you communicate and collaborate, but limit the number of participants to 50.

When you create a Group and invite your Contacts to join, you can use a shared calendar, make lists, and establish separate chat threads for different topics – all within a single Group.

BBM Groups are great for:

  • Organizing projects at work with meetings, milestones, and discussion threads
  • Planning events where people are responsible for particular items (like a potluck or a multi-family camping trip)
  • Coordinating among sports teams for rides, snacks, and game info

Add calendar events to your group to schedule meetings, track deadlines, or communicate important dates, games, or activities. Anyone in the group can create new events.

Create lists for to-dos, ideas, meeting action items, shopping, and more. You can assign items in a list to specific people, along with a due date. Everyone in the Group can view and edit the lists.

Different chat threads for different topics help keep discussions focused and organized. For example, you can have one chat about marketing for a new release, and another about quality assurance plans.

Upload pictures of the offsite, the whiteboard after a meeting, the game victory, the potluck buffet, the prototype, the party, or whatever else you want to the group to remember.

Your Group profile gives you easy access to all Group content.


When you want to add pictures, lists, and calendar events, just use the chat attachment bar at the bottom of the screen. Everything you add (events, lists, and pictures) will appear in the chat.

Whenever you start a new group chat, you’ll also have the option to make it a BBM Group, adding support for calendar events, lists, and topic chats. You can also still create a Group by using the Groups tab.


To return to group chats or Groups you’ve created or joined, either click the blue button to start a chat, and you’ll see them listed along with your Contacts, or type the name in search.


Hopefully this post has given you some new ideas about how BBM can help you communicate and collaborate with the groups of people in your life. Let us know in the comments how you already use, or plan to use group chat and Groups. And if you haven’t already, don’t forget to update your BBM in BlackBerry World, App Store, and Google Play today.

Source: Blackberry

The Cybersecurity Alliance Between the U.S.’s Eight Largest Banks is Great, but it’s the Wrong Model for Your Enterprise

Security of transactionsCurrently the third most-targeted industry in the world for cyberattacks, the financial services sector is rife with risk, so much so that 90% of IT security professionals working in finance feel vulnerable to data breach and 44% have already experienced at least one. It’s not just financial services that’s at risk, either – in a recent survey of our own, we found that nearly nine out of ten executives are worried their company’s security measures are insufficient.

The risks of the modern enterprise landscape cannot be ignored. A successful attack can cost a bank several million dollars, and an estimate by cyber insurance firm Lloyds puts the total estimated annual cost of cyberattacks at around $400 billion.  IT professionals are doing their best, but on its own each business can only do so much.

That’s why some of the largest banks in the U.S. are forming a cybersecurity alliance.

“[The alliance] includes J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Bank of America Corp. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc., among others,” reports the Wall Street Journal. “While still in its early stages, the big banks expect the group members will share more information with each other about threats, prepare comprehensive responses for when attacks occur and conduct war games designed for the issues facing the biggest institutions.”

Businessman Hand Put CoinThese banks were already part of a larger group that shares information about risks. The reason they’ve formed this particular alliance is because, as some of the world’s largest financial institutions, they’re far likelier to be targeted by hackers. By more closely sharing data and expertise, they can together devise a more comprehensive, unified response to cyberattacks.

Inter-industry alliances can be a great first step for your company to address its security challenges. But not every organization can follow Bank of America’s lead and put an unlimited budget into cybersecurity, and not every small firm has enough in-house technical expertise to adequately prepare themselves for hackers. Rather than joining forces with industry partners and competitors, it might make more sense for your organization to partner with a proven security expert like BlackBerry.

We’ve been in the security space for years, with software that helps organizations in industries ranging from government to healthcare to finance protect their most critical data. Most of those solutions were mobile-centric – until this year, when we acquired leading UK cybersecurity services group, Encription Ltd. It forms the heart of our new division, the Cybersecurity Services Group, which can help you identify, mitigate, and defend against every digital risk facing your organization.

The Group offers a broad selection of services and tools, including:

  • Through Penetration Testing, we mimic the techniques used by malicious hackers, covering internal threats, Internet-based attacks, payment infrastructure, and social engineering. This allows us to identify weaknesses in your security, and advise you on how to correct them.
  • Our Forensic Services include incident response support, damaged drive recovery, and forensic investigations of compromised hard drives, media, cameras, and mobile devices. We’ll help you prepare an incident response plan, and determine exactly how a breach occurred if your security should fail.  
  • THINK stands for Threat Intelligence and Knowledge, and encompasses our unique, real-world approach to security assessments. Cyberattacks rarely happen in set timeframes, and to better simulate that reality, our THINK tests occur over a period of time, allowing our testers to gain an even better understanding of the protections your organization has in place.
  • Our IT Security Training includes a range of cyber training programs accredited by organizations such as CESG and IISP. These programs can be delivered either on-site or in-house by active testers, and will help you develop your own in-house security expertise.

Security Alliance PNG

Cyberattacks are growing more frequent, and attackers are growing bolder. Meeting them head-on is a considerable challenge, especially for smaller organizations.  But through partnerships with other businesses – and the assistance of a security expert like BlackBerry – it can be overcome.

It’s simply a matter of equipping yourself with the right resources.

To learn more about our Professional Cybersecurity Services, click here.

Source: Blackberry

Starter Guide for making Web Services calls to Good Control (GC)


Good Control (GC) has web services API calls that let you administer the system as well as manage devices. Like BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES), SOAP has been the default API, though a more recent REST API has been added. For this starter guide I will focus on the SOAP API calls, and I will use the popular SOAPUI app (https://www.soapui.org/) on my Windows desktop to show how you can connect and invoke API calls.

My goal is to be able to invoke a SOAP call, that brings up my user record on my GC.

Recipe Overview:

  • Download SoapUI (or use any SOAP compatible tool or plugin your like, there are lots for chrome/firefox etc).
  • Update SoapUI to use TLS 1.2 in order for it to connect to GC
  • Configure SoapUI project to point to your GC.

Downloading SoapUI

Download SOAPUI from https://www.soapui.org/.  I’m going to use the latest rev, 5.2.1.

Update SoapUI to use TLS 1.2

Once installed, you will need to update it to use TLS1.2 in order to connect to GC.

  • Download the unlimited strength JRE policy jars from Oracle here: http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/javase/downloads/jce8-download-2133166.html
  • Go to the install location of SOAPUI, for me on 64bit Windows 8.1 it was: C:Program FilesSmartBearSoapUI-5.2.x
  • Edit using a text editor this file: C:Program FilesSmartBearSoapUI-5.2.xbinsoapui.bat
  • Find the set JAVA_OPTS= string and add following parameters to the end of the line:
    -Dsoapui.https.protocols=TLSv1.2,TLSv1,TLSv1.1 -Dsoapui.https.ciphers=TLS_RSA_WITH_AES_256_CBC_SHA256
  • Install the unlimited strength JRE policy jars you downloaded (ie: jce_policy-8.zip), by extracting the zip files, and replacing the similarly name files in SoapUI here: C:Program FilesSmartBearSoapUI-5.2.xjrelibsecurity

Now run SoapUI, and using the steps listed here in the Good public knowledge base.


  1. Next, open SoapUI and create a new project (File->New SoapUI Project). Give the project a name. For the initial WSDL, point it to the GD WSDL on the Good Control server(<GD install directory>docsgc.wsdl, e.g. c:gooddocsgc.wsdl).The SoapUI tool will create a project and operations based on those definited in gc.wsdl.
  2. Double-click the SoapUI project to bring up the project configuration.
  3. Select the WS-Security Configurations tab.
  4. In the WS-Security Configurations, select the Outgoing WS-Security Configurations tab.
  5. Click the ‘+’ icon to add a new Outgoing WS-Security Configurations, then give the new config a name. Your new configuration should appear in the table.
  6. Underneath the table of Outgoing WS-Security configurations, click the ‘+’ in the lower left-hand tab to create a new WSS entry.
  7. Choose ‘Username’ from the dropdown list.
  8. In the username entry, add your GC username and password. Note: make sure you specify the domain in the format: domainusername. Make sure ‘Add Nonce’ and ‘Add Created’ are both checked.
  9. For Password Type, choose PasswordText from the list.
  10. Save the project to record your changes.
  11. In the project window, scroll down to the operation GetUser. Expand GetUser and double-click ‘Request 1’.
  12. In the request window, select ‘Authentication and Security-related settings’ in the lower left (it may be represented as ‘…’ based on the size of the window on the screen).
  13. Under Outgoing WSS, select the entry you added in step 10.
  14. In the xml view of the SOAP request, replace the ‘?’ in <urn:stringId>?</urn:stringId> with the stringId (the exchange email address) of a GC user.
  15. In the drop down box at the top of the request window, choose [add new endpoint…] to add a new GC web services endpoint, e.g. https://<GC hostname>/gc/services/GCService. If you are testing on the GC server itself, you can specify https://localhost/gc/services/GCService. Select the new endpoint.
  16. Click the green submit button to send the SOAP request to the server.
  17. You should receive a SOAP response containing the corresponding user data for the stringId you sent as a parameter in the SOAP request.

Now that you have GetUser working, try out the others, adding the same authentication and connection URL.

For more information on GC web services start here pdf: https://community.good.com/docs/DOC-3604

Source: Developer Blackberry

The Four Levels of Modern IT Security: Does Your Enterprise Have Them Covered?

Though it hasn’t quite broken the traditional security paradigm, mobility’s done a decent enough job warping it out of shape. Today’s security teams have to defend against far more than the odd intrusion attack or malicious app. Security perimeters have dissolved, and threat surfaces have broadened significantly.

This means that in today’s landscape, there are multiple levels at which your organization can be compromised – you need to layer defense at each one.

Written by Dan Auker, Director of Product Management, Enterprise Software, BlackBerry

1)     Network Level – Borders have their Limitations

Close-Up Of Sign On Wooden FenceNetwork-level security comprises mostly everything on the ‘traditional’ security front – firewalls, authentication, and network encryption, to name a few. These tools are still essential to securing your enterprise; new threats such as spearphishing attacks and unsecure file sharing don’t negate old-fashioned ones like traffic flooding or buffer overflows.

At the same time, network controls on their own aren’t sufficient. A firewall may keep an attacker out, but it can’t protect files outside its perimeter. Encryption may protect network communications from intrusion, but it doesn’t stop a careless employee from forwarding an email to someone who shouldn’t be reading it.

2)     Device Level – Attackable and Hackable

robber steals the smartphone of the nightstand while woman sleeps deeply

In addition to network-level security, device-level security is one layer that most security teams already cover. Passwords, full-drive encryption, and device containers are all incorporated into most user devices to one degree or another. Microsoft’s BitLocker, for example, allows the user to harden an entire drive against intrusion, while Samsung KNOX allows the creation of a separate work and personal profile, walling corporate data off from private.

As with network-level controls, device security is necessary, but it also shouldn’t be your only line of defense. Hard disk encryption can be broken, passwords and PINs can be cracked. And device-level controls aren’t always reliable, either – they vary by device and manufacturer.

3)     Application Level – Containers Are Important

Men working at container terminalMalware aside, unsecure applications represent a significant risk for businesses, particularly those with burgeoning mobile initiatives. Data leakage remains a consistent threat, with 46.2% of apps on iOS and 86.7% of apps on Android exhibiting privacy-invasive behaviors, and user privacy is an ever-growing concern.

By locking down your business-critical apps with a device-independent containerization tool like that used in the Good Secure EMM Suites, you can keep your organization’s data safe from bad apps and physical theft.

4)     File Level – Your Last Line of Defense

Angry businessmen fighting with sword and shield in fieldFinally, we’ve got security controls at the file-level – and here’s where WatchDox comes in. Even if an attacker somehow manages to crack a device or make it into your network; even if a negligent employee shares documents with someone they shouldn’t, file security represents a second layer of defense. It ensures that even if your critical files leave the firewall and wind up in the hands of a third party, you never lose control of them.

It achieves this in several key ways:

  • Files are protected by end-to-end encryption at-rest, in-transit, on-server, or on-device.
  • Through WatchDox’s digital rights management, administrators have control over whether a user can access, view, edit, copy, print, download, or forward a sensitive file. Permissions can be changed at any time.
  • With Email Protector, email attachments sent through your server can automatically be wrapped in WatchDox’s DRM, protecting against both accidental and malicious sharing via email.
  • Customized watermarks, timed expiration, and file tracking deter bad actors within your organization.
  • A spotlight viewer which blurs the screen everywhere but the mouse pointer protects against theft via screen capturing.
  • WatchDox’s Content Connectors integrate with the majority of leading file repositories, allowing you to extend its protections to existing infrastructure without significant cost.

Encryption can be broken – and if encryption’s all you rely on, if you’ve no secondary protections, that means your data is at risk. With a multi-tiered approach to security, you can protect yourself at every layer. You can encrypt the hard drive and network communications, place apps within the secure Good container, and place files within WatchDox.

Attention Salesforce users: secure document collaboration has arrived with the new WatchDox app. Get it here. Or want to learn more about what WatchDox can do for you? Check out our webinar, WatchDox by BlackBerry: Industry Use Cases for EFSS or download the Forrester Wave report naming us a Leader in EFSS. You can also visit the official WatchDox page or view our WatchDox product demo for further information.

Source: Blackberry

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