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BlackBerry sees gain in traction for security

Paul Lipscombe
October 18, 2019

In recent years BlackBerry has shifted focus towards its security offering

BlackBerry CEO John Chen has talked of the company’s growing cybersecurity offering at the London leg of its World Tour in early this month.

During his brief appearance on stage, Chen discussed the company’s $1.4 billion acquisition of security software firm Cylance early this year, as he revealed that BlackBerry estimates it has more than half a billion devices and applications connected across the world.

It is hoped that the security move will boost the overall business of BlackBerry, which was previously a prominent name in the smartphone space, with a 16 per cent global market share in 2010. However, it recently saw that figure tumble to less than one per cent – and in the UK, the vendor now accounts for just 0.4 per cent of the market, according to IDC figures.

Of the acquisition, Chen says: “It would have taken BlackBerry years to develop a platform as developed as Cylance’s AI platform, so instead we chose to buy them.

“We needed Cylance for the end-point management and the IoT infrastructure.”

The acquisition will aid BlackBerry in developing secure AI, machine- learning, cloud and IoT services.

Such is Chen’s confidence in the acquisition that he believes this area of the business will become profitable next year, helping provide secure services for the growing IoT network.

“It will be profitable to the overall organisation,” he added.

Around 400 people attended the World Tour event, one of a series of BlackBerry events around the globe. Attendees included a number of BlackBerry partners, with talks also given by Ralf Speth, CEO of Jaguar Land Rover, and David DeWalt, founder of cybersecurity company NightDragon.

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