BlackBerry buys UK cyber security co Encription as part of software services-led turnaround strategy

A Blackberry sign is seen in front of their offices on the day of their annual general meeting for shareholders in Waterloo, Canada June 23, 2015. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

BlackBerry said on Wednesday that it has acquired U.K.-based cyber security consultancy Encription, moving the company deeper into the services business as it continues to morph into a more software-focused entity amid its ongoing turnaround.

The smartphone industry pioneer, which is pivoting to focus more on security software and services as the popularity of its devices have waned, said it sees massive potential in the area, with cyber security consulting currently worth an estimated $16.5 billion a year globally.

The terms of the Encription deal, which closed Friday, were not disclosed.

The acquisition will bring a team of about 40 cyber security professionals, who have helped test network vulnerabilities for both government agencies and large corporate entities, into the BlackBerry fold.

“This is a natural extension of what we do right now,” said James Mackey, BlackBerry’s head of corporate development. “We’re very excited about this new offering and we think it is highly complementary and a nice addition to our security portfolio.”

The acquisition will give BlackBerry the opportunity to also cross-sell some of its own security products, said Mackey.

BlackBerry said the new consulting services and tools, along with its existing security offerings, will help its clients to identify the latest cyber security threats, develop mitigation strategies, and implement the necessary IT security standards to defend against cyber attacks.

The acquisition of Encription is the latest in a string of software and services focused acquisitions made by BlackBerry in the last year.

In September, the company agreed to acquire rival security software maker Good Technology for $425 million. That deal came soon after its acquisition of privately-held AtHoc, a provider of secure, networked crisis communications.

BlackBerry is attempting to boost revenue from software and services to offset the revenue declines from its smartphone unit and legacy system access fees.

Reuters

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In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

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  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.