BlackBerry Ltd. might not be the force it once was in the mobility space, but if there’s one aspect of its business in which the company has maintained a sterling reputation, it’s security.
Capitalizing on that legacy, the Waterloo, Ont.-based software firm (and former handset manufacturer) announced Tuesday during a London, U.K. conference that it was adding cybersecurity consulting to its services portfolio, aimed at mitigating security risks in mobile devices, enterprise networks, cloud-enabled platforms, Internet of Things (IoT) devices, and cars.
The services will be offered both directly by BlackBerry and from partners through the company’s BlackBerry Marketplace, which recently hit the 100 enterprise-product milestone.
“When it comes to connected cars, there is no safety without security,” BlackBerry’s global head of sales, Carl Wiese, said in an Oct. 24 statement. “BlackBerry’s cybersecurity consulting practice builds on decades of experience in information security, data protection and cyber-resilience to support our clients in protecting their most valuable assets.”
In its release, BlackBerry made it clear it considered the automotive industry an especially valuable customer for its new service, noting that cybersecurity has become top of mind for today’s automakers modern cars incorporate new technology and become ever more connected.
According to IHS (Information Handling Services) Automotive’s Automotive Cybersecurity and Connected Car Report, there are nearly 112 million vehicles connected around the world, with the global market for automotive cybersecurity expected to grow to $759 million USD by 2023.
The first partner to collaborate with BlackBerry on providing cybersecurity consulting services will be Spring Cloud, an autonomous driving AI platform developer based in South Korea.
BlackBerry is hardly a stranger to the auto space, having purchased automotive software developer QNX in 2010 and opening an autonomous vehicle innovation centre in Ottawa last year, in addition to inking deals with some 250 automakers such as Ford Motor Company.
Other services offered by BlackBerry’s new division will include:
- Security guidance for deployed smart building and IoT technology.
- Validation of third-party solutions.
- Advice on security lifecycle management for vehicles.
- Assistance developing patch strategies for car dealer distribution networks.
- Full technical security audits of existing and pre-market vehicles, along with their backend networks and corresponding infrastructure.
- In-depth security training for developers.
- Security awareness training for automotive employees.
For European customers, BlackBerry also revealed that it will be providing consulting services for companies scrambling to comply with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which is scheduled to come into effect in May 2018.
You can learn more about BlackBerry’s cybersecurity consulting services here.