Blackberry acquires AI cybersecurity firm Cylance in 'biggest ever' acquisition

By Laura Mullan
BlackBerry has made the biggest acquisition in the company’s history, spending US$1.4bn to acquire cybersecurity firm Cylance. BlackBerry used to be...

BlackBerry has made the biggest acquisition in the company’s history, spending US$1.4bn to acquire cybersecurity firm Cylance. 

BlackBerry used to be better-known for its mobile devices, selling almost 52mn devices in 2011, according to Gartner.

Since then, the firm has pivoted its focus towards enterprises services and, in particularly, cybersecurity. 

BlackBerry says that the acquisition of AI-based cybersecurity firm, Cylance, will complement its entire technology portfolio.

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“Cylance’s leadership in artificial intelligence and cybersecurity will immediately complement our entire portfolio, UEM and QNX in particular,” said John Chen, Executive Chairman and CEO of BlackBerry. 

“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 realising the Enterprise of Things.”

Privately owned Cylance uses machine learning to preempt security breach before they occur.

By seeking to block malware or cyber threats, they preemptively tackle cybersecurity rather than reacting after a breach.
 
The firm has raised almost US$300bn to date, with investors including Dell Technologies, KKR, Blackstone, DFJ and Khosla Ventures. 
 
BlackBerry said it plans to integrate Cylance’s technology with the BlackBerry spark in the future. 
 
BlackBerry Spark is a communications platform for the Enterprise of Things (EoT) that aims to “create and leverage trusted connections between any endpoint.” 
 
Commenting on the acquisition, Stuart McClure, Co-Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Cylance, added: “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 acquisition is set to close before February 2019. 

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