BlackBerry has snapped up UK cybersecurity firm Encription, and launched a new cybersecurity practice to offer organisations new consulting services, tools and strategies.

The Canadian firm emphasised its security credentials at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, and also made parallel announcements about the wider availability of its secure enterprise solutions, and the launch of a secure BBM channel for exchanging personal health information.

BlackBerry completed the purchase of Encription for an undisclosed fee on 19 February, on the eve of MWC.

Encription possesses “deep technical skills” in software and hardware security, it said, and brings “years of cyber security consulting experience to the organisation”. 

Its new Professional Cybersecurity Services practice will address both strategic and technical security, covering best practices in enterprise mobility management and cloud services, and offering technical assistance for infrastructure and product development. 

It will also address automotive and IoT security as the rapid commercialisation of related solutions makes security a priority.

As well, BlackBerry will offer to assist with the detection of security threats, assessment of systems and response mechanisms, and testing of safeguards.

It gains expertise at mimicking hackers’ techniques to road test and advise on enterprise security systems with the Encription deal.

The British firm has attained one of the UK government’s highest security standards.

John Chen, Executive Chairman and CEO at BlackBerry, said: “BlackBerry is the gold standard when it comes to security.

"We recognise that security vulnerabilities are a top concern for public and private sector organisations alike. [These announcements] reinforce our commitment to providing customers the industry’s most secure mobility solutions and helping them to assess and mitigate risks.” 

Data breaches cost the global economy more than $400 billion every year, said BlackBerry, with sectors such as automotive now grappling with cybersecurity issues for the first time as vehicles become increasingly connected.  

Separately, BlackBerry has announced Microsoft customers now have access to its enterprise solutions via the Microsoft Azure cloud platform.

Enterprises can now install and manage BES12 through the Azure cloud platform, removing the requirement to invest in IT infrastructure to access BES12 licences.

BlackBerry will integrate its AtHoc solution, which enables the exchange of critical information in real time during crisis communications, into Microsoft Azure.

BlackBerry also used the MWC event to announce a dedicated BBM channel in conjunction with digital health platform Sharecare, allowing users to receive health updates and notifications.

 

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