Canadian Manufacturing

Blackberry continues pivot toward services, software buys U.K.’s Encription Ltd.

Tech company to build on security reputation with launch of new cybersecurity consultancy business



BlackBerry corporate headquarters in Waterloo, Ont. PHOTO BlackBerry

Once known for its handhelds, Blackberry is redefining itself in the software business. The company’s headquarters in Waterloo, Ont. PHOTO BlackBerry

WATERLOO, Ont.—Taking another measured step away from the hardware that made it a household name, Blackberry Ltd. has acquired a U.K.-based cybersecurity consultancy, and announced plans to launch a online security service business of its own.

Long known for the impregnable security of its mobile devices, a feature that made the brand a mainstay for mobile business communications, Blackberry has continued to pivot toward the software and services side of the tech business as sales of its own devices have plummeted. Building on its reputation for security, the Waterloo-based company’s new cybersecurity consulting service will provide companies with the tools and know-how to ensure they stay on top of the latest cybersecurity threats. The contract services will also help businesses develop risk mitigation strategies and implement IT security standards to defend against future attacks.

“BlackBerry is the gold standard when it comes to security and we’re always evolving to maintain this high standard as the complexity of enterprise mobility and security increases,” John Chen, the company’s executive chairman and CEO, said. “We recognize that security vulnerabilities are a top risk concern for public and private sector organizations alike.”

To help implement this new business, Blackberry has acquired Kidderminster, U.K.-based Encription Ltd for an undisclosed figure. The firm brings years of experience in cybersecurity to the organization’s new venture.

With its new cybersecurity consulting service, Blackberry hopes to tap into a significant growth market—the company noted data breaches are estimated to cost the global economy more than $400 billion every year. Meanwhile cybersecurity consulting is worth approximately $16.5 billion and expected to continue growing as global connectivity increases.

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