Blackberry Establishes Cybersecurity Services division

by Matt Klassen on February 26, 2016

securityMuch like fellow mobile pioneer Nokia, Blackberry continues to look for ways to pull itself back from the brink of irrelevance, and in much the same way as its Finnish rival, the Waterloo company continues to transform itself into a data management and security solutions provider. To that end (and again exactly like Nokia), Blackberry has announced that it is shoring up its own security solutions portfolio by acquiring U.K.-based Encription, a move that will bring cutting edge cybersecurity technology and a team of 40 cybersecurity experts into the Blackberry fold.

While the terms of the deal were not disclosed, Blackberry clearly sees massive potential in the area of cybersecurity, an industry that is currently worth an estimated $16.5 billion globally; a number that will only continue to rise. To that end, Blackberry announced the creation of a specialized Cybersecurity Services division, hoping to leverage its reputation for security to grow its presence in the security industry, the acquisition standing as its first significant move in that direction.

As mentioned, the acquisition comes as part of Blackberry’s overall efforts to revive its flagging brand by moving away from the smartphones that make it famous, pivoting towards data management and data security services, although Blackberry execs were once again quick to note that the company will never abandon its smartphone roots.

“This is a natural extension of what we do right now,” said James Mackey, BlackBerry’s head of corporate development. “We’re very excited about this new offering and we think it is highly complementary and a nice addition to our security portfolio.”

But despite how natural this acquisition is for Blackberry, the company remains steadfast that even if such consulting and security services prove successful (and currently they’re far from providing that), that the company will never truly abandon its hardware roots. In fact, when asked if the company would continue to transition away from hardware, company COO Marty Beard opposed the notion.

“No, I think if you look at it, we have hardware solutions, we have software solutions and we have services. We’re bringing all that together based on what we talked about during this meeting…” said Beard. “It’s not a preference so much, it’s a demand from our customer base and an opportunity to grow revenue.”

The problem for Blackberry, even in its transformed state, is that the consumer market no longer considers it the best security solution, as both Samsung and Apple now offer increasingly competitive security options. That said, the Waterloo company continues to maintain a strong presence in markets that require strict regulatory compliance, most notably government, military, and law enforcement.

With that in mind, it truly seems Blackberry is becoming increasingly comfortable with its revised (albeit reduced) role in the mobile world, using assets like Encription to help maintain its security dominance in those niche markets. Sure it’s not the dynamic and wildly popular Blackberry we saw a decade ago, but to be fair, that company has been gone for a long time now.

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Written by: Matt Klassen. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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