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BB shows signs of security life

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At a time when many are predicting its demise, or at least its pending acquisition by another company, BlackBerry has startled the market by making an acquisition of its own.

BlackBerry has entered into an agreement to acquire Secusmart, a company specialising in high-security voice and data encryption and anti-eavesdropping solutions for government organisations, enterprises and telecommunications service providers in Germany and internationally.

The transaction is subject to customary conditions, including regulatory approval. Nevertheless, it is a surprise move, given expectations by many commentators that BlackBerry itself was likely to be acquired by a larger organisation. The acquisition also reinforces BlackBerry’s competitive position in enterprise security, following the recent announcement of a partnership between IBM and Apple that was expected to challenge BlackBerry in this area.

We are always improving our security solutions to keep up with the growing complexity of enterprise mobility, with devices being used for more critical tasks and to store more critical information, and security attacks becoming more sophisticated,” said John Chen, Executive Chairman and CEO, BlackBerry. “The acquisition of Secusmart underscores our focus on addressing growing security costs and threats ranging from individual privacy to national security. This acquisition bolsters our security solutions with leading voice and data encryption and anti-eavesdropping technologies, and furthers BlackBerry’s security leadership in end-to-end mobile solutions.

BlackBerry and Secusmart have previously partnered to offer Secusmart’s innovative technology to customers that have the most demanding security needs. In fact, last year, the SecuSUITE for BlackBerry 10 solution was selected by Germany’s Federal Office for Information Security for classified communications for the country’s highest public officials. Through this collaboration, the two companies have provided Secusmart-equipped BlackBerry smartphones to a significant number of German government agencies and almost all German government ministries and leaders, including Chancellor Angela Merkel.

This transaction is a fantastic opportunity to accelerate growth in the market for high-end secure communications solutions, driven by the need to combat electronic eavesdropping and data theft,” said Dr. Hans-Christoph Quelle, Managing Director of Secusmart. “Secusmart and BlackBerry’s solution already meets the highest security requirements of the German federal authorities and NATO for restricted communications. We see significant opportunities to introduce Secusmart’s solutions to more of BlackBerry’s government and enterprise customers around the world.

“BlackBerry’s acquisition of Secusmart is the latest demonstration of the company’s commitment to being the first name in enterprise mobile security,” ran a company statement. “This commitment is why BlackBerry customers include all G7 governments, 16 of the G20 governments, 10 out of 10 of the largest global enterprises in each of the pharmaceutical, legal and automotive industries, and the five largest oil and gas companies. BlackBerry has more security certifications than any other vendor and is the only mobility solution to receive ‘Full Operational Capability’ (FOC) approval to run on U.S. Department of Defense networks.

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