BlackBerry Announces New AI and IoT Based Cybersecurity Unit

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The unit will focus on machine learning and ways AI can improve security in cars and mobile devices.

The new cybersecurity unit will create a foundation for BlackBerry Cylance.

Blackberry is launching a new business unit that will focus on cybersecurity research and development (R&D). The BlackBerry Advanced Technology Development Labs (BlackBerry Labs) will feature a team of 120 researchers, developers, security experts and more.

“Primarily, the purpose of this new division is to integrate emerging technologies into the work we’re currently accomplishing,” BlackBerry chief technology officer (CTO) Charles Eagan.

told VentureBeat. “We’re now looking at applying machine learning to our existing areas of application, including automotive, mobile security, and so on. As new technologies and threats emerge, BlackBerry Labs will allow us to take a proactive approach to cybersecurity, not only updating our existing solutions, but evaluating how we can branch out and provide a more comprehensive, data-based, and diverse portfolio to secure the internet of things.”

The unit will focus on machine learning and ways AI can improve security in cars and mobile devices. The lab space will be built on the campus of the company’s headquarters.

“The next generation of connected products [is] going to come online sooner than we think, and we’re going to use machine learning to better understand and manage the policies and identities of these connected devices,” Eagan explained, “to create a safe environment that will allow us to collaborate better, faster, and smarter across great distances and in all areas of application.”

Blackberry bought cybersecurity startup Cylance last year for $1.4 billion. Cylance provides an AI-powered endpoint protection platform. Once the manufacturer of the business world’s most popular cell phone, Blackberry is eager to complete their transformation into the world’s largest AI-security company. The deal with Cylance will improve their UEM and QNX products as well as their IoT platform, Spark. The integration of Cylance into Blackberry is expected to be completed early next year.

“Primarily, my role [in BlackBerry Labs] is to make sure that we’re making the most of the Cylance acquisition and that we have connectivity between all the different business units,” Eagan said. “We’re really focusing on the importance of integrating BlackBerry Cylance’s machine learning technology into BlackBerry’s product pipeline. However, it’s not just about creating an ecosystem of machine learning-based solutions, but rather smartly and strategically adopting machine learning into the work we’re accomplishing each day.”

Sue Walsh

About Sue Walsh

Sue Walsh is News Writer for RTInsights, and a freelance writer and social media manager living in New York City. Her specialties include tech, security and e-commerce. You can follow her on Twitter at @girlfridaygeek.

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