Arthur J. Villasanta – Fourth Estate Contributor
Toronto, ON, Canada (4E) – Blackberry Ltd has cemented its transition from a maker of smartphones into a cybersecurity company with its acquisition of cybersecurity firm Cylance, Inc.
Its $1.4 billion deal to acquire Cylance cements the smartphone pioneer’s complete pivot to cybersecurity. Blackberry has made several other security acquisitions over the past few years, but none as large as the Cylance deal.
Cylance is a well-established cybersecurity firm that provides antivirus, endpoint protection, original equipment manufacturing (OEM) and supply-chain security products. Cylance has some 100 subscriber-clients within the Fortune 500, and 3,500 enterprise clients
The company also has business in state and federal government agencies. Cylance will remain a separate business unit within Blackberry. Cylance also has a security consulting business.
Analysts said the acquisition confirms Blackberry is definitely moving further away from its smartphones, which were once the most popular devices among businessmen. Since the advent of Apple’s iPhone, however, Blackberry became a mere a niche player in the smartphone market.
It has spent the last five years completing its transition to a cybersecurity provider.
The acquisition of Cylance will also give Blackberry more reach in the area of cybersecurity advisory services. Blackberry in 2017 acquired U.K. security consulting firm Encription in a deal with undisclosed terms.
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