IoT
IoT
Mobile // Enterprise Mobility Management
News
2/24/2016
01:05 PM
Connect Directly
Twitter
LinkedIn
Google+
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

BlackBerry Buys Encription Limited For Security Push

BlackBerry has acquired cyber-security firm Encription Limited to fortify the offerings in its new Professional Cybersecurity Services division.

8 Ways To Secure Data During US-EU Privacy Fight
8 Ways To Secure Data During US-EU Privacy Fight
(Click image for larger view and slideshow.)

BlackBerry has confirmed its acquisition of UK-based security firm Encription Limited. The terms of the deal, which was completed Feb. 19 and announced Feb. 24, were not disclosed.

With its experience in cyber-security consulting, Encription will strengthen BlackBerry's new Professional Cybersecurity Services practice. Its new division, announced Feb. 24, was created in response to the growing problem of security breaches amid the rise of connected devices.

"As cybersecurity threats become more pervasive with increasing Internet connectivity, there is a greater demand for more robust defensive tactics to combat these risks," according to BlackBerry's statement.

(Image: Bluebay2014/iStockPhoto)

(Image: Bluebay2014/iStockPhoto)

Encription focuses on several areas within the broader cyber-security field, ranging from software security to hardware expertise. One of its specialties is penetration testing, in which it imitates the methods of malicious hackers so businesses can have a better idea of the threats they bring and how to address them.

The company will bring additional security credentials to BlackBerry's portfolio, including the CESG CHECK IT and ISO/IEC 27001 certifications.

About 40 cyber-security professionals will join the company as part of the deal, Reuters reported. They'll bring with them experience in testing network vulnerability for large business and government organizations, which makes them valuable talent for Blackberry's newly formed security practice.

The Professional Cybersecurity Services practice was created to help enterprise customers as they face increasingly dangerous security threats. The new division will address strategic security practices, technical assistance for infrastructure and product development, and automotive and IoT security.

It also plans to offer threat detection and mitigation penetration testing, incident response analysis, and vulnerability assessment. This includes IT health checks for business security, forensic services, training, security breach management, and regulatory compliance.

Expanding its portfolio into the security field could give BlackBerry the major boost it needs. The cyber-security consulting market is currently valued at an estimated $16.5 billion, the company noted, with the potential to grow to $23 billion by 2019.

[Looking ahead: 8 ways Blackberry can be saved.]

Data breaches cost the economy $400 billion each year, according BlackBerry.

If BlackBerry's new security practice can help mitigate that cost, it may well find itself undergoing positive turnaround as it caters to businesses in desperate need of strong security services.

Despite surpassing analysts' expectations in its last financial report of 2015, BlackBerry's mobile business continues to underwhelm. Its Priv smartphone, an Android-based device, drove sales, but isn't enough to keep business afloat on its own.

The company's transition to focus on services has led to job cuts at two separate BlackBerry facilities, including its Waterloo, Ontario, headquarters and a location in Florida. About 200 employees were affected, the company reported in a statement, and it is "actively recruiting" talent for areas of its business it believes will drive growth.

Encription is the latest in a series of acquisitions intended to strengthen BlackBerry's service offerings. It purchased software maker Good Technology in November 2015 to create a product suite for securing enterprise data. A few months earlier it bought AtHoc, a secure, networked communications provider.

Does your company offer the most rewarding place to work in IT? Do you know of an organization that stands out from the pack when it comes to how IT workers are treated? Make your voice heard. Submit your entry now for InformationWeek's People's Choice Award. Full details and a submission form can be found here.

Kelly is an associate editor for InformationWeek. She most recently reported on financial tech for Insurance & Technology, before which she was a staff writer for InformationWeek and InformationWeek Education. When she's not catching up on the latest in tech, Kelly enjoys ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Top IT Trends to Watch in Financial Services
IT pros at banks, investment houses, insurance companies, and other financial services organizations are focused on a range of issues, from peer-to-peer lending to cybersecurity to performance, agility, and compliance. It all matters.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of September 25, 2016. We'll be talking with the InformationWeek.com editors and correspondents who brought you the top stories of the week to get the "story behind the story."
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.