BlackBerry to buy anti-phone tapping specialist Secusmart

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BlackBerry to buy anti-phone tapping specialist Secusmart

Alex Scroxton

BlackBerry is to acquire German voice and data encryption and anti-eavesdropping software supplier Secusmart for an undisclosed sum.

The acquisition will close subject to regulatory approval and the fulfilment of other customary conditions, It will expand on a previously existing partnership, under which BlackBerry offered Düsseldorf-based Secusmart’s product suite to its most security conscious enterprise and government customers.

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Such organisations include Germany’s Federal Office for Information Security, which deployed a SecuSUITE for BlackBerry 10 solution only last year. A number of other German government departments, including the office of chancellor Angela Merkel, also use its products.

The partnership has seen the development of Vodafone’s Secure Call app, which provides highly secure business smartphones through integration with SecuSUITE for BlackBerry 10.

It also protects landline phones within the scope of Germany’s Federal Security Network, with a customer-specific solution that includes tap-proof desktop phones and encrypted conferencing services.

Germany has some of the strictest data privacy laws around, and the German government has been outspoken in its advocacy of data protection and its criticism of US intelligence agencies following the exposure of widespread covert network surveillance practices by the NSA.

“This transaction is a fantastic opportunity to accelerate growth in the market for high-end secure communications solutions, driven by the need to combat electronic eavesdropping and data theft,” said Hans-Christoph Quelle, managing director at Secusmart.

“Secusmart and BlackBerry’s solution already meets the highest security requirements of the German federal authorities and NATO for restricted communications. We see significant opportunities to introduce Secusmart’s solutions to more of BlackBerry’s government and enterprise customers around the world.”

BlackBerry executive chairman and CEO John Chen said the acquisition underscored his firm’s focus on addressing growth in security costs and sophisticated threats.

“This acquisition bolsters our security solutions with leading voice and data encryption and anti-eavesdropping technologies, and furthers BlackBerry’s security leadership in end-to-end mobile solutions,” he said.

BlackBerry mobile security customers already include all G7 governments, major enterprise in the pharma, legal and automotive sectors, and the five largest global oil and gas firms.

It also boasts the only mobility solution to have received Full Operational Capability approval to run on US Department of Defense networks.


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