Joe Dreyfuss: BlackBerry CEO says the mobile company’s turnaround has hit a tipping point after near-death experience

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"BlackBerry today is far different from the company that once controlled 20% of the mobile phone market. Its mobile network technology is considered one of the most secure and is a favorite of corporations and governments, including all seven members of the G7. It is an important player in the Internet of Things (IoT) — a boon, since Gartner says it expects to see 20 billion internet-connected things by 2020, from vending machines and jet engines to connected cars.

BlackBerry’s QNX automotive software is embedded in 150 million vehicles, where protection from hacking is a safety issue. “We managed the traffic between endpoints,” said Chen in assessing BlackBerry. “Now we have to manage the endpoints.”

With that in mind, Chen wooed and purchased Cylance, a security software start-up that uses artificial intelligence to identify and disarm threats. Founded in 2012 by McAfee alumni Stuart McClure and Ryan Permeh, Cylance was their response to an avalanche of malicious software. At McAfee they had a staff of 1,200 workers flagging 100,000 malware signatures a day, but 500,000 were coming in."

 

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