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ICYMI: BlackBerry to Acquire Cylance

NEWS / 11.21.18 / Mark Wilson

On Friday, November 16, we announced the acquisition of Cylance, a fast growing company and pioneer in applying artificial intelligence, algorithmic science, and machine learning to cybersecurity. Their technology has proven highly effective at predicting and preventing known and unknown threats to fixed endpoints, including stopping zero day threats like Petya, notPetya and WannaCry.

Cylance’s leadership in artificial intelligence and cybersecurity, particularly in the categories that Gartner defines as EPP (Endpoint Protection Platform) and EDR (Endpoint Detection and Remediation) will immediately complement our entire portfolio, in particular UEM and QNX. We are very excited to onboard their team and leverage our newly combined expertise in AI, cybersecurity, and secure mobility.

The industry reaction to our news has also been overwhelming, highlighting how the Cylance deal strengthens BlackBerry’s cybersecurity offering. Here’s a recap of what they had to say, in case you missed it:

  • “With its acquisition of Cylance, it looks clear that BlackBerry believes continuing down the software path is the company’s future.” – Fast Company
  • “BlackBerry’s $1.4 billion deal to acquire cybersecurity company Cylance cements the smartphone pioneer’s pivot to an exclusive focus on cybersecurity.” – CNBC
  • “With Cylance, BlackBerry is seeking a greater slice of businesses’ information security spend, which market researcher Gartner estimates will exceed $114 billion this year. That BlackBerry is putting up triple the amount it paid for ex-rival Good Technology, its last biggest acquisition, made in 2015, demonstrates that it is fully committed to the pursuit of this new business model—best exemplified by BlackBerry Spark, a platform it is pitching as the secure, connective tissue for all sorts of connected devices.” – Fortune
  • “The deal combines two companies that are leaders in their respective enterprise market segments —BlackBerry in EMM and Cylance in STAP. BlackBerry’s selection of Cylance for EoT applications is astute.” – IDC
  • We believe this transaction accelerates BlackBerry’s strategy of leading secure endpoint enterprise-of-things (“EoT”) communications, benefits multiple areas of the business across UEM, QNX and Spark, and drives potential synergies given the complementary customer bases. With the IoT market’s heightened growth expectations of both security and AI, as well as investor anticipation for BlackBerry’s cash deployment, we believe the transaction will be well received by the market.” – Canaccord
  • “The acquisition further cements BlackBerry’s shift away from smartphone hardware – with BlackBerry smartphones now made by TCL, with added BlackBerry software for messaging and encryption – towards security software and services.” – Computing
  • “In an October 4 event, the company announced new quantum encryption capabilities for its Spark security platform. Cylance’s technology will complete BlackBerry’s Spark vision with AI and next gen endpoint cybersecurity talent and capabilities.” – eWeek
  • “BlackBerry Ltd raised its bets on artificial intelligence and cybersecurity on Friday with the $1.4 billion purchase of California-based machine-learning specialists Cylance. The Canadian technology company, which dominated the smartphone market a decade ago, has shifted to selling software to manage mobile devices, as well as emerging areas like autonomous cars.” – Reuters
  • “The acquisition is a crucial part of the narrative that has seen BlackBerry pivot in the direction of enterprise security for the internet of things, or enterprise of things as it puts it.” – Silicon Republic
  • “…the Canadian firm (has) pivot(ed) towards enterprise services and in particular cybersecurity. That strategy takes a big step further forward today after BlackBerry announcedthe acquisition of AI-based cybersecurity company Cylance for a cool $1.4 billion.” – TechCrunch
  • “Cylance uses artificial intelligence tools to help prevent cyber attacks and as these technologies advance, it puts BlackBerry in a position to lead in protection services going forward.” – TheStreet
  • “…should accelerate the company’s (BlackBerry) move into the unified endpoint security space, where it already has a solid reputation and customer base for mobile endpoint security in regulated industries.​​​​​ This deal could increase what had previously been BlackBerry’s unclear play into industrial enterprises for non-mobile, IoT and embedded system endpoints. The company can now legitimately claim to provide a viable, modern endpoint protection offering.” – 451 Research
  • “Interesting and positive development for @BlackBerry to purchase @cylanceinc. Adds nice #AI expertise to the overall #IoT and #EoT security story.” – TECHnalysis
  • “Cylance acquisition is a smart move for BlackBerry. Cylance will operate as a separate unit within BlackBerry, but its technology will become a key pillar of Blackberry Spark, which is the company’s Enterprise of Things platform. In our opinion, Cylance is the leading technology in End Point Security.  There is very strong demand in the market, and there is also quite a bit of competition including Palo Alto Networks, CrowdStrike and other private companies. BlackBerry now has over $1bn in Enterprise Security / Mobility sales, and it has a much improved offering in End Point Management / EoT following the acquisition.” – MKM Partners
  • “…the deal will help reignite BlackBerry’s growth, which had been obscured by ASC 606 accounting impacts. The transaction also fits in strategically: Cylance is a next-gen antivirus provider that is focused on securing endpoints using artificial intelligence. This dovetails with BlackBerry’s Enterprise of Things ambitions to secure endpoints from chip to the device and will bolster its unified endpoint management service. Cylance also has complementary verticals: it is strongest with manufacturing, healthcare and technology vs. regulated verticals for BlackBerry. Cylance received FedRAMP certification in 2017 and can be used by all government agencies, which is an area that we think BlackBerry could help accelerate.” – Veritas

As you can see, the market is excited about the acquisition and to see what BlackBerry and Cylance can do together! You can learn more about the acquisition here and here.

Mark Wilson

About Mark Wilson

Mark Wilson is the Chief Marketing Officer for BlackBerry, where he leads the company’s corporate, product and field marketing functions. Mark brings with him extensive experience building brand preference, driving integrated marketing for a number of well-known companies. Prior to joining BlackBerry, Mark served as CMO at Avaya. He previously held senior marketing positions at SAP and Sybase, and gained extensive marketing and consulting experience at AT&T, KPMG Consulting and the San Francisco Consulting Group.