BlackBerry has seen better days in mobile manufacturing and it wants to compensate for the loss of market share by developing cybersecurity services.
On Wednesday, the company announced the purchase of Encription, a UK cybersecurity consultancy firm. The move should help BlackBerry switch from being a hardware manufacturer to a more software-focused enterprise.
"Cybersecurity consulting is currently estimated to be a $16.5 billion annual global business that is forecast to grow to $23 billion per annum by 2019," BlackBerry writes in a press release.
The company, which used to be a pioneer and flag-bearer of the smartphone industry, needs to find its place in a global market where competition made its handsets lose attractiveness.
After the acquisition, BlackBerry's team will grow by 40 cybersecurity professionals. Their work will revolve around testing and solving network vulnerabilities for large corporate entities and government agencies.
"This is a natural extension of what we do right now," says James Mackey, BlackBerry's head of corporate development. He goes on to add that the new addition to the company will complement and extend its existing security portfolio.
With the purchase of Encription, BlackBerry is now able to cross-sell a part of its own security products, says Mackey.
The combination of new services and existing security offerings will enable BlackBerry to better assist its clients in a number of areas. Some of these are developing mitigation strategies, identifying cybersecurity threats and creating the mandatory security standards that can protect against cyber attacks.
This is not the first time BlackBerry has turned its attention toward purchasing software and services.
During last fall, the company took over rival security software developer Good Technology. The transaction was sealed for $425 million. Previously, BlackBerry purchased AtHoc, a company that provides networked crisis communications.
BlackBerry puts the pedal to the metal when it comes to cybersecurity services and software solutions, as revenues from its smartphone division are crumbling.
John Chen, CEO and Executive Chairman at BlackBerry, explains the company's decision in a statement that followed the acquisition.
"We recognize that security vulnerabilities are a top risk concern for public and private sector organizations alike," Chen says.
No official statement exists on the ins and outs of the Encription deal, but more details should soon come to light.