BlackBerry bolstered its security credentials with the acquisition of Secusmart, a German provider of “high-security voice and data encryption and anti-eavesdropping solutions for government organisations, enterprises and telecommunications service providers”.
Financial details were not disclosed.
The companies have already worked together, including a partnership to provide Germany’s Federal office for Information Security with a BlackBerry 10 solution “for classified communications for the country’s highest public officials” – including Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The security of Merkel’s communications came into the spotlight late last year, when it was reported that the US government had been monitoring her calls.
While BlackBerry has already trumpeted the security of its own data platform, the deal will enable it to improve its position with regard to voice calls.
BlackBerry has held a strong position in the enterprise world, in no small part due to its security capabilities, for some time, but is coming under increasing pressure from technologies such as Samsung’s fledgling Knox platform.
The acquisition of Secusmart is an indication that despite its well-publicised woes, it is still investing in areas that are strategically important, supporting its renewed focus on the enterprise market.
Industry analyst Jack Gold said: “If BlackBerry can raise the awareness and get the market, particularly in enterprise and regulated industries, to recognise the need for secure voice and the amount of potential loss, then BB could win big in the market. It will take some effort, but this could be a great channel for BB to grow share.”
Hans-Christoph Quelle, CEO of Secusmart, said: “The secrets of our existing and new customers continue to be reliably secure: the heart of the Secusmart technology is and remains the Crypto-Chip integrated into a standard Micro-SD Card. End-to-end encryption is the only method to protect voice and data communication against third party espionage. As in the past no Secusmart employees will have access to encryption algorithm or the secrets of our clients.”
John Chen, executive chairman and CEO of BlackBerry, said: “The acquisition of Secusmart underscores our focus on addressing growing security costs and threats ranging from individual privacy to national security.”
The transaction is subject to certain conditions, including regulatory approvals.