BlackBerry has announced that it is to purchase cybersecurity giant Cylance for $1.4bn. The BlackBerry Cylance deal is set to be completed by February 2019.

The acquisition is key for the technology giant, as Cylance’s expertise in artificial intelligence-driven cybersecurity will give it a key position in this thriving market.

“Cylance’s leadership in artificial intelligence and cybersecurity will immediately complement our entire portfolio, UEM and QNX in particular,” said John Chen, executive chairman and CO of BlackBerry.

“We are very excited to onboard their team and leverage our newly combined expertise.”

BlackBerry Spark to benefit from Blackberry Cylance deal

The BlackBerry Cylance deal is intended in particular to sure up the company’s BlackBerry Spark platform.

Described as an “Enterprise of Things” platform, it is an Internet of Things (IoT) platform for enterprises that promises advance security and regulatory compliance.

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

IoT security is a key concern for businesses, with many devices offering poor security that can ultimately provide attackers with easy backdoors into company networks.

Cylance’s use of predictive security

Founded in 2012, Cylance is a key player in the emerging field of AI-based cybersecurity.

Combining AI, machine learning and algorithmic science, the company offers predictive software that is able to prevent both known and unknown threats.

The company has over 3,500 enterprise customers, over 20% of which are Fortune 500 companies.

“Our highly skilled cybersecurity workforce and market leadership in next-generation endpoint solutions will be a perfect fit within BlackBerry where our customers, teams and technologies will gain immediate benefits from BlackBerry’s global reach,” said Stuart McClure, co-founder, chairman and CEO of Cylance.

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“We are eager to leverage BlackBerry’s mobility and security strengths to adapt our advanced AI technology to deliver a single platform.”

The deal, which is pending regulatory approvals, consists of $1.4bn in cash, plus any unvested employee incentive awards.

It is set to close before the end of BlackBerry’s current financial year, in February 2019.