MWC 2016 LIVE: BlackBerry acquires Encription, talks Microsoft and health

blackberry logoBlackBerry acquired UK security firm Encription, bolstering a move into cybersecurity consulting that was announced here at MWC.

The company has created a Professional CyberSecurity Services practice which will offer organisations consulting services, tools and best practice.

BlackBerry was tight-lipped on the detail of the Encription deal, which closed late last week (19 February).

Talking about the move into consulting, David Kleidermacher, BlackBerry’s chief security officer, said: “We had capabilities internally but now we have launched that practice externally.”

Another announcement involved a partnership with Microsoft that enables BlackBerry to offer secure enterprise solutions via the former’s Azure cloud platform.

The deal means enterprises can opt to install and manage their BES12 deployment through Microsoft’s cloud platform, giving full access to their BES12 licences while benefiting from the Azure architecture – and without having to invest in their own IT infrastructure.

The third, and final, announcement from BlackBerry was the expansion of its existing partnership with Sharecare, a digital health firm. The two have now launched a new channel via BBM, which offers consumers answers on their smartphones to their health questions through expert information from the likes of the American Cancer Society to licensed medical staff.

During the Q&A following the announcements, the company was guarded, declining to offer any updates on its handset business, for instance in terms of plans for more Android devices beyond the Priv. The company instead pointed to an update it made at CES 2016 in January.

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