BlackBerry to buy cybersecurity firm Cylance for $1.4 bln

Joanna Estrada
November 18, 2018

Chen said Blackberry was looking to present its cybersecurity offerings as a platform rather than a bunch of individual technologies and saw Cylance as a good candidate to facilitate that.

BlackBerry made its name as a smartphone pioneer, but has shifted in recent years to software and security services.

According to BlackBerry CEO and executive chairman John Chen, the purchase will allow the smartphone-cum-mobile security vendor to get its security solutions onto the phones of Cylance customers, while building out its channel trough Cylance's 100 percent channel model.

Having Cylance in BlackBerry's back pocket gives the company a broader customer reach and a more in-depth understanding of how AI fits into security and risk prevention.

The private company and its approximately 900 employees, according to BlackBerry, can typically identify and analyze threats 25 months before they emerge.

Cylance, founded in 2012, applies artificial intelligence, algorithmic science and machine learning into its cybersecurity software.

The California based company Chief Executive Stuart McClure, in turn, said that it would be able to leverage the BlackBerry strengthen in the mobile communications and security to adapt its Artificial intelligence technology.

Cylance will operate as its own separate business unit with BlackBerry, said the Company. "We kind of interrupted their process", Chen said on the press call.

"We want to do our part to protect the democratic process from interference however we can, wherever we can". Cylance uses AI to scan typical behavior, then if it notices irregularities it can quarantine accordingly with minimal impact to performance at the user end, a basic diagram from their site is below. That actor, the company added, had conducted a year-long espionage campaign aimed at Pakistan's air force.

"First, it will provide BlackBerry with additional cybersecurity capabilities with state-of-the-art artificial intelligence and machine learning technology, that could be utilized across our entire portfolio..."

Other than the $1.4 billion that BlackBerry will pay, the arrangement additionally incorporates the supposition of Cylance's unvested worker incentives, BlackBerry said.

"There are no doubts in my mind that we are acquiring cutting-edge technology", he added.

US -listed shares of Blackberry were marginally up in light pre-market trading.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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