BlackBerry Acquires Cylance, an AI and CyberSecurity Company

BlackBerry has acquired Cylance for USD $1.4 Billion in cash. The deal is subject to regulatory approvals, other customary closing conditions and to close by February 2019. This is the largest ever acquisition by Blackberry and commences its entry into the artificial intelligence market.

In the past, BlackBerry lost to the Apple and Samsung its smartphone market and making shifts in its strategy to be relevant. It started projecting itself as the software security product and services company. Focusing on the Internet of Things market, the said acquisition underscores BlackBerry's public strategy to secure IoT and endpoint devices.

Founded in 2012, California-based Cylance offers products and services that proactively predict and prevent the execution of advanced threats by applying artificial intelligence, algorithmic science, and machine learning to cybersecurity. The Cylance's systems are deployed to 14.5 million endpoints to protect its 3,500 clients worldwide that includes 20% of fortune 500 companies.

Security was one of the top barriers to IoT success (35%), with privacy concerns (25%), and potential risks and liabilities (25%) also in the top five, according to Gartner in its most recent Internet of Things Backbone Survey, states the announcement.

According to the announcement, BlackBerry's Spark Platform is a secure chip-to-edge communications platform for the Enterprise of Things (EoT). With high-value technology stack such as FIPS-validated, app-level, AES 256-bit encryption, Spark platform allows organizations to comply with regulatory requirements. Blackberry's EoT platform achieved Common Criteria EAL4+ for both iOS and Android.

Designed for ultra-security and industry-specific safety-certifications, such as ISO 26262 in automobiles, BlackBerry Spark will leverage the company’s deep portfolio of technology that includes FIPS-validated, app-level, AES 256-bit encryption to ensure data is always protected. BlackBerry Spark enables organizations to comply with stringent multi-national regulatory requirements. In fact, BlackBerry is the only EoT platform provider to achieve Common Criteria EAL4+ for both iOS and Android, offering the highest level of security in the market.

Executive Opinion

Executive Chairman and CEO of BlackBerry, John Chen, said, “Cylance’s leadership in artificial intelligence and cybersecurity will immediately complement our entire portfolio, UEM, and QNX in particular. We are very excited to onboard their team and leverage our newly combined expertise. We believe adding Cylance’s capabilities to our trusted advantages in privacy, secure mobility, and embedded systems will make BlackBerry Spark indispensable to realizing the Enterprise of Things.”

Co-Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Cylance, Stuart McClure, said, “Our highly skilled cybersecurity workforce and market leadership in next-generation endpoint solutions will be a perfect fit within BlackBerry where our customers, teams and technologies will gain immediate benefits from BlackBerry’s global reach. We are eager to leverage BlackBerry’s mobility and security strengths to adapt our advanced AI technology to deliver a single platform.”

The announcement further noted that the embedded AI technology will help Blackberry accelerate development of Spark Platform and help it become the first solution provider to intelligently protect fixed and mobile endpoints.

The acquired company Cylance will continue to operate as a separate business unit.


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Mandar is a seasoned software professional for more than a decade. He is Cloud, AI, IoT, Blockchain and Fintech enthusiast. He writes to benefit others from his experiences. His overall goal is to help people learn about the Cloud, AI, IoT, Blockchain and Fintech and the effects they will have economically and socially in the future.

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