BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) today revealed that it has bought Secusmart GmbH, a company that manufactures voice encryption chips and whose clients include Germany’s Chancellor, Angela Merkel. The two companies have worked together in the past where Secusmart GmbH used to license its technology to BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY).
Jordan Robertson, a Cyber-Security & Privacy Reporter at Bloomberg News, discussed the significance of the deal and the voice encryption technology that Secusmart provides on today’s edition of Bloomberg‘s program ‘Bloomberg West’.
“Secusmart is encryption technology and it’s encryption technology that sits on the device itself and in this post Edward Snowden era, security is everything for these companies and its kind of funny that BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) is buying this company because BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) gained its reputation, became the go to business smartphone maker few years ago on the basis of their reputation for security and they kind of lost that reputation for a while. This is a kind of back to the future moment for them,” Robertson said.
Robertson believes that even though BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) had access to Secusmart GmbH’s technology, this deal makes sense for BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) as it faces competition in the security smartphone market. He also feels that this deal is an important part of BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY)’s turnaround strategy.
“This technology is a hardware-based solution. So, you encrypt the data it stays on the device and you can’t access it. One of BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY)’s biggest innovation in the past were, was its Blackberry server, which was software essentially that encrypted the information. [...] This is a very hardware focused acquisition. It’s an important one, but it is kind of diversion, a little bit from what he [John Chen, CEO, BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY)] described as a strategy,” Robertson added.