Blackberry Cylance buy shows its shift through smartphones to security

John Chen, Executive Chairman in addition to CEO of BlackBerry Ltd, walks on the floor at the fresh York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in fresh York, October 16, 2018. 

Brendan McDermid | Reuters

John Chen, Executive Chairman in addition to CEO of BlackBerry Ltd, walks on the floor at the fresh York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in fresh York, October 16, 2018. 

Blackberry’s $1.4 billion deal to acquire cybersecurity company Cylance cements the smartphone pioneer’s pivot to an exclusive focus on cybersecurity.

The Canadian company has made several various other security acquisitions in recent years, yet none as large as the Cylance deal announced on Friday. At over $1 billion, the move is actually a surprisingly large one, indicating the Blackberry will move further away through its devices, which still underpin many the company’s existing enterprise security deals.

Blackberry has made a rapid transition through a once-ubiquitous corporate smartphone provider, to a niche hardware player — in addition to has become a nearly pure-play cybersecurity firm in less than several years.

Cylance is actually a well-established cybersecurity firm that will provides antivirus, endpoint protection, original equipment manufacturing (OEM) in addition to supply-chain security products. Cylance has around 100 subscriber-clients within the Fortune 500, in addition to 3,500 enterprise clients, according to the statement through Blackberry. The company also has business in state in addition to federal government agencies. Cylance will remain a separate business unit within Blackberry, according to the company.

In recent years, Blackberry has pulled resources away through its smartphone business, halting in-house manufacturing of the keyboard-in addition to-screen handheld in 2016. This specific then shifted its focus to enterprise security software, chip-level security products for “endpoints” — including Android in addition to iOS smartphones — in addition to protection for the range of devices that will fall into the “internet of things” (IoT). Blackberry has also focused its business on some of the biggest-ticket IoT devices, including connected cars.

The acquisition of Cylance, which carries a security consulting business, may also give Blackberry more reach from the area of cybersecurity advisory services. Last year, Blackberry acquired U.K. security consulting firm Encription, in a deal with undisclosed terms.

This specific’s not unusual for a non-security company known for some aspect of cybersecurity to attempt to grow its business from the increasingly lucrative space. However, Blackberry is actually one of the first companies to make a sharp in addition to complete turn into a software in addition to consulting cybersecurity business through a hardware background.

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