Blackberry snaps up cybersecurity firm Cylance for $1.4bn
BlackBerry has made the biggest acquisition in the company’s history, spending US$1.4bn to acquire cybersecurity firm Cylance.
BlackBerry used to be better-known for its mobile devices, selling almost 52mn devices in 2011, according to Gartner
Since then, the firm has pivoted its focus towards enterprises services and, in particularly, cybersecurity.
BlackBerry says that the acquisition of AI-based cybersecurity firm, Cylance, will complement its entire technology portfolio.
“Cylance’s leadership in artificial intelligence and cybersecurity will immediately complement our entire portfolio, UEM and QNX in particular,” said John Chen, Executive Chairman and CEO of BlackBerry.
“We are very excited to onboard their team and leverage our newly combined expertise.
“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.”
Privately owned Cylance uses machine learning to preempt security breach before they occur.
By seeking to block malware or cyber threats, they preemptively tackle cybersecurity rather than reacting after a breach.
The firm has raised almost US$300bn to date, with investors including Dell Technologies, KKR, Blackstone, DFJ and Khosla Ventures.
BlackBerry said it plans to integrate Cylance’s technology with the BlackBerry spark in the future.
BlackBerry Spark is a communications platform for the Enterprise of Things (EoT) that aims to “create and leverage trusted connections between any endpoint.”
Commenting on the acquisition, Stuart McClure, Co-Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Cylance, added: “Our highly skilled cybersecurity 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.
“We are eager to leverage BlackBerry’s mobility and security strengths to adapt our advanced AI technology to deliver a single platform.”
The acquisition is set to close before February 2019.
Check Point: Securing the future of enterprise IT
Cybersecurity solutions provider Check Point was founded in 1993 with a mission to secure ‘everything,’ and that includes the cloud. Conscious that nothing remains static in the digital world, the company prides itself on an ability to integrate new technology with its solutions. Across almost three decades in operation, Check Point, with its team of over 3,500 experts, has become adept at protecting networks, endpoints, mobile, IoT, and cloud.
“The pandemic has been somewhat of an accelerator in the evolution of cyber risk,” explains Erez Yarkoni, Global VP for Cloud Business. “We had remote workers and cloud adoption a long time beforehand, but now the volume and surface area is far greater.” Formerly a CIO for several big-name telcos before joining Check Point in 2019, Yarkoni considers the cloud to be “part of [his] heritage” and one of modern IT’s most valuable tools.
Check Point has three important ‘product families’, Quantum, CloudGuard, and Harmony, with each one providing another layer of holistic IT protection:
- Quantum: secures enterprise networks from sophisticated cyber attacks
- CloudGuard: acts as a scalable and unified cloud-native security platform for the protection of any cloud
- Harmony: protects remote users and devices from cyber threats that might compromise organisational data
However, more than just providing security, Yarkoni emphasises the need for software to be proactive and minimise the possibility of threats in the first instance. This is something Check Point assuredly delivers, “the industry recognises that preventing, not just detecting, is crucial. Check Point has one platform that gives customers the end-to-end cover they need; they don't have to go anywhere else. That level of threat prevention capability is core to our DNA and across all three product lines.”
In many ways, Check Point’s solutions’ capabilities have actually converged to meet the exact working requirements of contemporary enterprise IT. As more companies embark on their own digital transformation journeys in the wake of COVID-19, the inevitability of unforeseen threats increases, which also makes forming security-based partnerships essential. Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP) sought out Check Point for this very reason when it was in the process of selecting Microsoft Azure as its cloud provider. “Let's be clear: Azure is a secure cloud, but when you operate in a cloud you need several layers of security and governance to prevent mistakes from becoming risks,” Yarkoni clarifies.
The partnership is a distinctly three-way split, with each bringing its own core expertise and competencies. More than that, Check Point, HOOPP and Microsoft are all invested in deepening their understanding of each other at an engineering and developmental level. “Both of our organisations (Check Point and Microsoft) are customer-obsessed: we look at the problem from the eyes of the customer and ask, ‘Are we creating value?’” That kind of focus is proving to be invaluable in the digital era, when the challenges and threats of tomorrow remain unpredictable. In this climate, only the best protected will survive and Check Point is standing by, ready to help.
“HOOPP is an amazing organisation,” concludes Yarkoni. “For us to be successful with a customer and be selected as a partner is actually a badge of honor. It says, ‘We passed a very intense and in-depth inspection by very smart people,’ and for me that’s the best thing about working with organisations like HOOPP.”