Security for Hyperconnectivity: BlackBerry Completes Acquisition of Cylance
Mitchell Gracie posted on February 25, 2019 |
BlackBerry seeks to integrate Cylance’s expertise in AI-driven cybersecurity into BlackBerry Spark, now that the ink has dried on the acquisition. (Image courtesy of BlackBerry Ltd.)
BlackBerry seeks to integrate Cylance’s expertise in AI-driven cybersecurity into BlackBerry Spark, now that the ink has dried on the acquisition. (Image courtesy of BlackBerry Ltd.)

BlackBerry has completed its acquisition of Cylance. The acquisition of the California-based artificial intelligence (AI), algorithmic science and cybersecurity company by the enterprise and Internet of Things (IoT) powerhouse comes just three months after the initial announcement of intent.

“Today BlackBerry took a giant step forward toward our goal of being the world’s largest and most trusted AI-cybersecurity company,” said John Chen, executive chairman and CEO of BlackBerry.

Paying US$1.4 billion and assuming unvested employee incentive awards, BlackBerry hopes to leverage Cylance's math-based methods of threat detection, prevention and response to fortify its development of BlackBerry Spark.

BlackBerry Spark and Hyperconnectivity

BlackBerry unveiled its Spark platform last September, two months ahead of the announcement of its intent to acquire Cylance. According to BlackBerry, its Spark platform is the first IoT platform to prioritize the security of interconnected and hyperconnected devices. The Information Data Corporation (IDC) defines “hyperconnectivity” as the development of communication networks between people, organizations and things. BlackBerry expects hyperconnectivity to “revolutionize the way people work and live.”

The three facets of industry that BlackBerry Spark securely connects. (Image courtesy of BlackBerry Ltd.)
The three facets of industry that BlackBerry Spark securely connects. (Image courtesy of BlackBerry Ltd.)

Boasting that it will provide the highest level of security to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), enterprises and people, BlackBerry sees its platform being integrated into hospitals to save lives and autonomous vehicles to ensure fortified communication with smart infrastructure. Further, the company hopes to rebuild consumer trust towards IoT devices and networks.

“Securing endpoints and the data that flows between them is absolutely critical in today’s hyperconnected world. By adding Cylance’s technology to our arsenal of cybersecurity solutions we will help enterprises intelligently connect, protect and build secure endpoints that users can trust,” continued Chen.

Prioritizing Security

According to a 2016 Gartner report, nearly one-third of IT leaders surveyed see a lack of security inhibiting the utilization of IoT. Industry requires confidence that its enormous streams of data being harvested—such as those from manufacturing floors or enterprise devices—are protected. Eavesdropping or malicious attacks are serious threats to the implementation of IoT technologies. Industry's hesitance could slow the integration of interconnectivity, and hence Industry 4.0.

“BlackBerry is uniquely suited to deal with this problem given their extreme focus on securing connected devices,” said Rob Enderle, principal analyst at Enderle Group. “Their Spark platform, designed to secure and manage IoT infrastructure, stands out because of this focus and their demonstrated ability to manage connected devices at enterprise and government scale.” 

By leveraging Cylance’s data science, algorithm science and machine learning experience, BlackBerry is all the more prepared for any challenges ahead.

“We are eager to leverage BlackBerry’s mobility and security strengths to adapt our advanced AI technology to deliver a single platform," said Stuart McClure, now-president of BlackBerry Cylance, in a statement last fall. “[Cylance's] 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.”

BlackBerry Cylance will be at the RSA Conference 2019 in San Francisco, Calif., from Mar. 4-8, showcasing its AI-driven endpoint protection, detection and response capabilities.

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