BlackBerry eyes IoT, diversifies with new cybersecurity practice

The company will also focus on automotive IT security

Struggling smartphone vendor, BlackBerry, is looking to diversify its business by launching a cybersecurity consulting service, focusing in part on the Internet of Things, and providing related tools to customers.

The Ontario smartphone vendor, an early standard bearer for multifunction mobile phones, announced Wednesday it has acquired U.K. cybersecurity consulting firm Encription. The company did not disclose the terms of the deal, which was completed last week.

BlackBerry's move into cybersecurity consulting isn't a huge leap, as the company has long positioned itself as a security-minded smartphone vendor. Late last year, the company launched the Priv, a security- and privacy-focused smartphone running a modified version of Android.

The company has significant cybersecurity expertise in house, and the new cybersecurity consulting practice will build on those assets, a spokeswoman said.

The company noted the global cybersecurity consulting industry generates US$16.5 billion in business a year, with huge growth predicted.

BlackBerry posted a net loss of US$89 million for its third quarter, which ended Nov. 28. Still, for the previous nine months ending on that date, it posted a net profit of $30 million, compared to a net loss of $332 million over the same period in 2014.

BlackBerry's cybersecurity services will focus on helping customers with security strategies and providing technical assistance, the company said. The company will specialize in automotive and Internet of Things security and in detection, testing and analysis.

The growing move into cybersecurity is a "smart move for Blackberry, especially as security is in the headlines" with a recent fight over smartphone encryption between Apple and the FBI, said Jeff Kagan, a mobile analyst.

Still, it's unclear if cybersecurity consulting will be a long-term winning strategy for the company, he said by email.

"BlackBerry is having a tough time finding growth areas," Kagan added. "Before we get too excited, we’ll just have to see whether this moves the needle at BlackBerry."

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags BlackberryInternet of ThingsIoT

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Grant Gross

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?