BlackBerry inked a deal to acquire artificial intelligence (AI) and cybersecurity specialist Cylance for $1.4 billion, a move designed to bolster its IoT security offering.

Founded in 2012 by former McAfee CTO Stuart McClure, Cylance uses AI and machine learning to predict and prevent new and existing endpoint threats.

BlackBerry CEO John Chen, who has overseen the company’s pivot from consumer hardware to software and security, said in a statement the addition will “immediately complement our entire portfolio” and strengthen its Spark IoT platform.

“We believe adding Cylance’s capabilities to our trusted advantages in privacy, secure mobility and embedded systems will make BlackBerry Spark indispensable to realising the Enterprise of Things.”

The cash deal is expected to close before the end of BlackBerry’s fiscal year in February 2019, after which point Cylance will operate as its own business unit within the company.

The move comes amid a heightened industry focus on threat protection and is the latest in a string of security-related deals.

In July, AT&T acquired cybersecurity company AlienVault for an undisclosed sum to boost its defence offering for enterprise customers, and earlier this month Symantec announced a deal to buy Appthority to strengthen protections against malicious mobile apps.