Recently, Blackberry Limited disclosed that it had entered into an agreement to fully acquire AI and Cybersecurity leader Cylance for a staggering $1.4 billion in cash.
Although there are pending legal approvals among other closing conditions, the transaction is anticipated to close before the end of the current BlackBerry’s fiscal year.
“Cylance’s leadership in artificial intelligence and cybersecurity will immediately complement our entire portfolio, UEM, and QNX in particular. We are very excited to onboard their team and leverage our newly combined expertise,” said John Chen, Executive Chairman and CEO of BlackBerry. “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.”
In its latest Internet of Things Backbone study, Gartner revealed that security was identified as the leading impediment to the success of IoT (35%), with privacy concerns (25%) as well as potential liabilities and risks (25%) also featuring in the top five list.
Cylance is a pioneer when it comes to applying machine learning, algorithmic science, and artificial intelligence to cybersecurity software that has proven its ability to forecast and prevent both unknown and known threats, particularly to fixed endpoints.
This rapidly growing company has become a market leader with a lightweight and advanced agent that operates both offline and online, resides on the endpoint, and requires limited power and memory to function.
Established back in 2012, Cylance is known for generating recurring revenue from more than 3,500 active customers including over 20% of the Fortune 500.
Cylance also has ongoing business in both federal and state government agencies and is expected to stay as an independent enterprise unit within smartphone pioneer BlackBerry.
“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,” said Stuart McClure, Co-Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Cylance. “We are eager to leverage BlackBerry’s mobility and security strengths to adapt our advanced AI technology to deliver a single platform.”
BlackBerry has made some other security acquisitions in the recent past.
However, none of them is comparable to the Cylance acquisition deal.
Standing at more than $1 billion, the deal is astonishingly huge.
The acquisition also shows the possibility of BlackBerry moving away from its own devices, which still fortify several of the firm’s current business security deals.
The purchase of Cylance, which boasts a security consulting business, may help BlackBerry in gaining an increased reach in the field of cybersecurity advisory services.
In 2017, the company purchased Encription, a UK-based security consulting company.
BlackBerry has in the recent years pulled away resources from its smartphone enterprise, leading to a halt in its in-house manufacturing of handheld keyboard-and-screen in 2016.
Later the company channeled its focus to business security software, chip-level security products intended for “endpoints” such as iOS and Android smartphones.
It is normal for a non-security firm known for some cybersecurity aspect to try and grow its enterprise in this lucrative space.
However, BlackBerry prides itself on being among the first firms to make a complete and sharp turn into a consulting and software cybersecurity enterprise from its hardware background.