BlackBerry drops $1.4bn on cybersecurity firm Cylance

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BlackBerry — yes, that BlackBerry — is now the owner of American cybersecurity firm Cylance.

The company paid US$1.4-billion in cash, in addition to the “assumption of unvested employee incentive awards” to snap up the Californian firm.

Although BlackBerry has long marketed itself as a security leader in the smartphone and business worlds, the acquisition is the first real showcase of its repositioning from a smartphone maker and business software vendor to a cybersecurity firm.

According to a press release issued by BlackBerry, Cylance uses “artificial intelligence, algorithmic science, and machine learning” in its security software to predict and prevent “known and unknown threats to fixed endpoints”.

And according to BlackBerry’s CEO John Chen, the purchase will also go towards strengthening its position in the EoT (enterprise of things) race.

“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,” he said in the same release.

The deal is set to be concluded at the end of BlackBerry’s fiscal year in February 2019, and Cylance will continue to operate but under its owner’s umbrella.

Feature image: BlackBerry

Andy Walker, former editor


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