BlackBerry to buy Cylance for $1.4B as company continues security evolution
- BlackBerry is set to acquire artificial intelligence and cybersecurity firm Cylance for $1.4 billion in cash, according to a company announcement Friday.
- The deal is the largest acquisition BlackBerry has made and is expected to close in February 2019. The company wants to use Cylance for BlackBerry's "chip-to-edge" portfolio, including QNX, a safety-certified embedded operating system used in vehicles, robot dogs and medical devices, according to an announcement.
- Cylance, in turn, will use BlackBerry's advances in mobile and security to "adapt [its] advanced AI technology to deliver a single platform," according to Stuart McClure, co-founder and CEO of Cylance, in the announcement.
BlackBerry, once a prominent name in mobile hardware, had to find a new niche in the technology industry after the smartphone made its mobile devices antiquated technology.
BlackBerry and Cylance got approval from their respective boards Thursday night in what BlackBerry CEO John Chen described as "a rush job," in a conference call Friday. But the DNA of the Cylance coincides with BlackBerry's mission to focus on the enterprise market of internet of things security.
Chen noted IoT faces adoption reservations because of uncertainty around security and privacy. The only way to effectively achieve holistic security is with AI, said McClure during the call.
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.
Using AI is "really contrary to the entire industry," said McClure, because signatures essentially represent what is already known. Bad actors who remain a step ahead are able to outsmart the standards set by a signature-based industry.
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