BlackBerry focuses on cybersecurity & AI with $1.4bn acquisition of Cylance

A few years ago, BlackBerry ended its smartphone operations by selling its manufacturing arm to TCL.

Now, the Canadian company is turning its attention towards security software and services by bidding to purchase Cylance in an deal that values the AI cybersecurity specialist at $1.4 billion.

BlackBerry’s acquisition of the Cylance, which is the largest in the company’s history.

Cylance was founded in 2012 by former McAfee/Intel duo Stuart McClure and Ryan Permeh.

The Californian firm boasts that it’s “revolutionizing cybersecurity” with AI-based solutions that predict and prevent the execution of advanced threats and malware at the endpoint.

Over 3,500 active enterprise customers, including governments and more than 20 per cent of the Fortune 500 use Cylance services.

BlackBerry will leverage Cylance to bolster its Spark Enterprise of Things (EoT) platform and, more specifically, its UEM and QNX products, but Cylance will operate as a separate business unit within BlackBerry.

“Cylance’s leadership in artificial intelligence and cybersecurity will immediately complement our entire portfolio, UEM [Unified Endpoint Management] and QNX [embedded real-time operating system] in particular. We are very excited to onboard their team and leverage our newly combined expertise,” said John Chen, BlackBerry CEO.

“We believe 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.”

The deal, which is pending regulatory approvals, consists of $1.4 billion in cash, plus any unvested employee share options.