BlackBerry acquires UK-based cyber security consultancy Encription

BlackBerry announced that it has acquired the UK-based cyber security consultancy Encription.

The move represents BlackBerry’s focus on delivering security software and services for its enterprise customers and follows the launch of BlackBerry’s new consulting business, Professional Cybersecurity Services, which is set to further expand the company’s security portfolio amid “ever-changing cybersecurity risks.”

The Encription acquisition will help BlackBerry kickstart its new consulting business.

Encription specializes in penetration testing and mimicking the techniques of malicious hackers to ensure organizations are aware of cyber risks posed by criminal hackers and how to address them. The consultancy has been entrusted by one of the UK government’s highest security standards with the CESG CHECK IT and ISO/IEC 27001 certifications.

“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.”

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

“BlackBerry is the gold standard when it comes to security and we’re always evolving to maintain this high standard as the complexity of enterprise mobility and security increases,” said John Chen, Executive Chairman and CEO, BlackBerry.

“We recognize that security vulnerabilities are a top risk concern for public and private sector organizations alike. The creation of our Professional Cybersecurity Services practice and acquisition of Encription reinforces our commitment to providing customers the industry’s most secure mobility solutions and helping them to assess and mitigate risks.”

According to the 2015 Cost of Data Breach Study, Cybersecurity consulting is estimated to be a $16.5 billion annual global business that is forecast to grow to $23 billion per annum by 2019.

Data breaches are estimated to cost the global economy over $400 billion every year.

According to BlackBerry, its new consulting business will cover several key areas, including:

Strategic Security: best practices in IT operation ranging across enterprise mobility management and cloud services.

Technical Security: technical assistance for infrastructure and product development lifecycle.

Automotive and IoT Security: security consulting services as the rapid commercialization of IoT solutions makes security and privacy a top priority.

Detection, Testing and Analysis: threat detection and mitigation penetration testing, vulnerability assessment and incident response analysis. This includes forensic services, business security status via IT health checks, training, regulatory compliance and security breach management through incident response.

The Canadian tech giant is trying to increase revenue from software and services in an effort to offset the sharp declines it has experienced in its struggling smartphone business.

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