New BlackBerry CSO calls security 'War of good vs. evil'

BlackBerry's new CSO David Kleidermacher has 23 years of IT experience and expertise in IoT technology, and he will presumably play a key role in the company's future IoT security strategy.

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Credit: Brian Sacco

BlackBerry announced yesterday that it has appointed David Kleidermacher as its new Chief Security Officer. Kleidermacher is the former CTO of Green Hills Software, a company that calls itself "the largest independent embedded software provider." Kleidermacher joined Green Hills Software in 1991 as a systems software engineer, according to his LinkedIn profile.

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BlackBerry CSO David Kleidermacher

Kleidermacher is in charge of BlackBerry's global Product Security organization and  will oversee security-specific research and product development, as well as BlackBerry's product certification and approval program, according to a related press release.

The new CSO will report to Jim Mackey, BlackBerry's executive vice president, executive operations. Kleidermacher also brings expertise in operating systems, high assurance software development techniques, mobile device security and, perhaps most notably, the Internet of Things (IoT).

[Related How-To: BlackBerry Classic Review: A Killer Smartphone for Keyboard Lovers]

Last month, BlackBerry unveiled its new BlackBerry Internet of Things Platform, a cloud-based service designed to let organizations build and securely managed IoT apps and devices. Kleidermacher also "holds patents and patents pending in … IoT technology," according to BlackBerry, and he will presumably play a significant role in the company's IoT security strategy.

From Kleidermacher's LinkedIn page:

"I believe that security (and computer security, in particular) is one of the most important challenges facing the world (certainly the technology world) and is quite literally a war of good versus evil that deserves the attention and energy of our best and brightest." 

Kleidermacher replaces Scott Totzke, former senior vice president of the BlackBerry Security Group, who left the Canadian company last June and eventually joined China's Huawei in September 2014 as senior vice president, device and enterprise security, according to Totzke's LinkedIn page. (CIO.com interviewed Totzke in the summer of 2010, when he talked up BlackBerry's role in the ever-evolving world of mobile security.) Michael K. Brown, vice president of security product management and research, held the interim CSO role before Kleidermacher took the reigns.

Kleidermacher has a computer science degree from Cornell University's school of engineering and more than 23 years of IT experience, according to his LinkedIn page. BlackBerry's main competitive advantage has always been security, and it's the company's leading marketing focus today, so Kleidermacher's role as CSO could be a high-profile one, at least in comparison to the average CSO.

BlackBerry does not currently have a CIO. Its last official CIO, Robin Bienfait, abruptly retired in January of 2013 and then went on to join Samsung a year later as its chief enterprise innovation officer. 

This story, "New BlackBerry CSO calls security 'War of good vs. evil'" was originally published by CIO.

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