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By Bruce Sussman
Fri | Nov 16, 2018 | 7:58 AM PST

BlackBerry held a call with investors this morning and talked about its decision to pay $1.4 billion in cash to buy cybersecurity company Cylance.

Cylance created a buzz a few years ago when it pioneered using Artificial Intelligence, algorithms, and machine learning to predict and catch unknown threats to fixed endpoints.

Why did BlackBerry buy Cylance?

So why, specifically, is BlackBerry acquiring Cylance?

BlackBerry, which has a big push underway to help unlock the potential of IoT in the enterprise, told investors that this acquisition helps it address the number one reason companies are holding back on the Enterprise of Things: security.


BlackBerry's reputation around privacy is already extremely solid, as most in the industry are well aware. Now, it believes it can brag on security, as well.

John Chen, the Executive Chairman and CEO of BlackBerry, put it like this:

“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.”

Spark is touted (by the company) as a secure chip-to-edge communications platform for the Enterprise of Things.

The deal, by the way, still leaves BlackBerry with some cash on hand—a cool $1 billion. 

The announcement confirmed that Cylance will operate as an independent business unit, and the deal is forecast to close no later than February 2019.