BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) CEO John Chen has a long way to go before he convinces anyone that the company he was brought in to revive will ever be as prominent as it once was. Regaining mobile device market share probably isn’t going to happen, and BlackBerry’s lock on the financial sector is slipping with Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC), Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C) and others openly discussing letting employees choose their own phones and tablets instead of issuing BlackBerrys across the board.

BlackBerry

But an interview with American Banker shows that BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) might be able to keep itself at the center of secure mobile networks even if it has to accommodate other companies’ smart phones.

BlackBerry can still build on its secure networks

The key, as with all talks of a possible BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) turnaround, is that it still has the most secure system in the business. It’s phones, BlackBerry Messenger, and Enterprise Server 10 (with Enterprise Server 12 slated for later this year) create a secure mobile ecosystem that encrypts messages from end to end in a way that challengers like Good Technology and MobileIron can’t yet compete with.

“You’re comparing the NFL with Division 3,” says Chen.

But what those competitors might lack in security, they make up for in flexibility, supporting more than just one brand of smart phone. If BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) can provide the same level of flexibility without compromising on security, it should be able to retain and even grow its enterprise market share.

QNX gives BlackBerry a leg up

BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) already has the literal kernel for such services in the form of QNX, an operating system used in embedded systems ranging from air traffic control to Android’s in-vehicle system.

“It’s a secure kernel, it’s designed for security, and we are the number one player in the connected car world, as well as medical equipment and control systems,” says Chen.

The advantage that BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) has over competitors like Good Technology is that it doesn’t have to stop with Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Android phones. BlackBerry already has the best mobile security and the best embedded OS available, if it can just put those things together and securely connect third-party devices then it is well positioned to make itself indispensable when the Internet of Things really comes of age.

Even better, since this new niche would mostly be behind the scenes and BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) would be accountable to CIOs who are mostly still fans, it won’t have to worry about a more stylish competitor dethroning it as Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) did in 2008.