David Kleidermacher, chief security officer of BlackBerry issued a reaction regarding the e-mail controversy surrounding former First Lady and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Hillary Clinton’s practice of using a personal e-mail account sensitive government communication during her tenure as Secretary of State received extensive media coverage. Her detractors also questioned her motive in doing so.
Kleidermacher said politics aside, there are lessons learned from Hillary Clinton’s situation.
Hillary Clinton is an avid user of BlackBerry
It is widely-known that Hillary Clinton is an avid user of BlackBerry. Technology observers were asking if her BlackBerry could handle multiple accounts during her tenure as Secretary of State.
Technology observers noted that it wasn’t until 2013, Hillary Clinton last year at the State Department when BlackBerry Balance, a feature designed to separate personal information such as personal e-mail accounts from work data was introduced by the Canadian smartphone manufacturer.
Lessons learned from Hillary Clinton e-mail scandal
In response to speculations on Hillary Clinton’s motives and on how technology may have been use or abused in the situation, BlackBerry Security Chief Kleidermacher emphasized that security and technology depends on humans in doing the right thing. According to him, the Presidents of the United States (POTUS) could tweet top secret information, but they chose not do it.
Kleidermacher said we should think how to minimize privilege including access to sensitive information, and technologists must make security easy to use. He explained that users will intentionally or inadvertently circumvent controls to complete their jobs if security is difficult to use.
In addition, Kleidermacher emphasized the importance of understanding the impact of regulation in mobility for people like Hillary Clinton. The existing policy does not allow concurrent access to general internet services and a classified network on a single commercial phone known as “cross-domain solution” or CDS. He noted that cross- domain is limited only to specialized PCs and thin clients in physically secure solutions.
BlackBerry offered the ability to manage multiple e-mail accounts on a single device for decades, said Kleidermacher. However, he pointed out that the CDS policy does not apply to enterprises or the vast majority of government users.
According to him, BlackBerry’s Secure Work Space products go beyond enabling users to access their full suite of personal and work applications and securely isolating them on any device.
Furthermore, Kleidermacher said BlackBerry applies that same IT mantra of security-by-simplicity to provide a great user experience. The company ensures that its BES enterprise mobility management platform is easy to deploy and administer. He concluded that “mobile security technology must always treat productivity as a first-class requirement.”
Why Hillary Clinton used personal e-mail account
Hillary Clinton explained, “I opted for convenience to use my personal email account, which was allowed by the State Department, because I thought it would be easier to carry just one device for my work and for my personal emails instead of two.”
She also emphasized that she went “above and beyond” what was required of her to do regarding the saving official e-mails from her personal account. The State Department allowed the use of a personal e-mail account as long as she saves all records.
Hillary Clinton submitted almost 30,490 e-mails, almost 50% of the total e-mails she sent or received as Secretary of State. She did not keep her personal e-mails citing the reason that “no one wants their personal e-mails made public.” She also thinks that most people understand her reason and respect privacy.”
Republican House Speaker John Boehner is expected to announce a new investigation this week regarding the e-mail practices of Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State.