BlackBerry to acquire Cylance and add “premier AI and cyber security capabilities”

BlackBerry has entered into a definitive agreement to wholly acquire Cylance, a specialist in the spheres of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and cyber security, for US$1.4 billion in cash, plus the assumption of unvested employee incentive awards. This will be BlackBerry’s biggest-ever acquisition deal.

Pending regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions, the deal is expected to close prior to the end of BlackBerry’s current fiscal year in February 2019.

“Cylance’s leadership in AI and cyber security will immediately complement our entire portfolio, so we’re very excited to on-board the team and leverage our newly combined expertise,” said John Chen, executive chairman and CEO of BlackBerry. “We believe that adding Cylance’s capabilities to our trusted advantages in privacy, secure mobility and embedded systems will make BlackBerry Spark indispensable to realising the Enterprise of Things.”

BlackBerry Spark is a next generation secure chip-to-edge communications platform for the Enterprise of Things that will create and leverage trusted connections between any endpoint.

According to Gartner in its most recent Internet of Things Backbone Survey, security was cited as the top barrier to IoT success (35%), with privacy concerns (25%) and potential risks and liabilities (25%) also in the Top Five.

Cylance is a pioneer in applying AI, algorithmic science and machine learning to cyber security software that has proven highly effective at predicting and preventing known and unknown threats to fixed endpoints.  Founded in 2012, the fast-growing business generates highly recurring revenue from over 3,500 active enterprise customers, including more than 20% of the Fortune 500.

“Our highly-skilled cyber security 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,” explained Stuart McClure, co-founder, chairman and CEO of Cylance. “We’re extremely eager to leverage BlackBerry’s mobility and security strengths in order to adapt our advanced AI technology to deliver a single platform.”

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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