BlackBerry will buy a German security firm that develops anti-eavesdropping technologies, in a bid to bolster the firm's appeal to government agencies and other customers with a requirement for secure communications.
The smartphone maker said it has entered into an agreement to acquire Secusmart GmbH, subject to certain conditions including the necessary regulatory approvals. Financial details have not been disclosed.
Secusmart is described as a leader in high-security tools such as voice and data encryption, plus anti-eavesdropping solutions for government organisations, enterprises and telecommunications service providers, both in Germany and abroad.
The acquisition is being seen as a logical move in light of recent spying allegations, as the two firms have previously partnered in the past to jointly offer Secusmart's products and services to government agencies and the like.
As an example, BlackBerry said that the SecuSUITE for BlackBerry 10 had been chosen by Germany's Federal Office for Information Security to equip a number of German government agencies including the chancellor Angela Merkel and key ministries and officials.
BlackBerry chief executive John Chen said in a statement that the firm had to keep improving its security in order to keep pace with the growing sophistication of the threats faced by customers.
"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," he said.
BlackBerry is already regarded as a leader in secure enterprise mobility thanks to the integration between its BlackBerry smartphone devices and the BlackBerry Enterprise Services (BES) server platform that a customer typically uses to manage the devices and link to corporate resources behind the firewall.
Dr Hans-Christoph Quelle, managing director of Secusmart, said that the acquisition would enable this to be taken up a notch, and appeal to more customers around the globe.
"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," he said.
BlackBerry said it has more security certifications than any other mobility vendor and its platform is the only one to receive Full Operational Capability (FOC) approval to run on US Department of Defense networks.
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