BlackBerry will buy Cylance for $1.4bn to boost its security and AI products

Cylance's machine learning tech will complement UEM and QNX, CEO John Chen said

AI brain

BlackBerry is in the process of buying AI and cybersecurity firm Cylance so it can offer businesses a wider variety of smarter security services.

Cylance's software uses advanced machine learning to detect and shut down any threats it detects running on a network. What's unique about Cylance is that it doesn't require a signature from an existing threat to shut it down - it can understand new threats by their behaviour.

Because it can discover and stop even unknown threats, it's a worthy addition BlackBerry's existing security portfolio, the company explained.

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"Cylance's leadership in artificial intelligence and cybersecurity will immediately complement our entire portfolio, UEM and QNX in particular. We are very excited to onboard their team and leverage our newly combined expertise," said John Chen, Executive Chairman and CEO of BlackBerry.

"We believe adding Cylance's capabilities to our trusted advantages in privacy, secure mobility, and embedded systems will make BlackBerry Spark indispensable to realizing the Enterprise of Things."

The deal is due to close before the end of BlackBerry's 2019 fiscal year, which takes place in February. Although it hasn't been revealed how Cylance will be integrated into BlackBerry in terms of staff transition, it said it anticipates Cylance will operate as a separate business unit within the company.

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"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," said Stuart McClure, co-Founder, chairman, and CEO of Cylance.

"We are eager to leverage BlackBerry's mobility and security strengths to adapt our advanced AI technology to deliver a single platform."

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