BlackBerry to acquire German firm Secusmart

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BlackBerry to acquire German firm Secusmart
John Chen

Improves security credentials with deal.

BlackBerry is buying privately held German firm Secusmart which specialises in voice and data encryption, in a bid to improve its credentials security as part of its strategy to target specific industries and niches.

Secusmart specialises in encryption and anti-eavesdropping services for public sector, enterprise and telecommunications service providers.

The acquisition is the latest by the smartphone pioneer to build on niche areas in an attempt to reinvent itself under new chief executive John Chen and recover ground ceded to iPhone and Galaxy devices.

Chen wants to remain a competitor in the smartphone segment, but is focused on building on BlackBerry's strong mobile device management abilities by beefing up its security and corporate app offerings.

Secusmart's technology is being used to protect the devices of government officials in both Canada and Germany in the wake of the US spying scandal last year.

"Everybody wants to talk about eavesdropping, but it really isn't just that. Both governments and enterprises are now more and more focused on security in the mobile world," Chen said, adding that the Secusmart deal gives BlackBerry yet another leg up on the competition in relation to device security.

Chen said the company, which has gone through a rough and extended restructuring process over the last two years, will be soon getting back on a growth footing with the last of its lay-offs to be completed by the end of July.

"I want to make sure that we don't get carried away and get ourselves into trouble again financially, but then again, we do need to invest in certain areas, if we want to compete in the future," said Chen.

Details of the deal remain undisclosed.

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