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Dec 10, 2018

'I hope the BlackBerry name means security': Chen

BlackBerry CEO wants closer data security ties after Cylance deal

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The chief executive officer of BlackBerry Ltd. says the world needs to be re-educated on the importance of data security, and hopes his company’s brand will become more associated with that in the future.                                                           

“I hope the BlackBerry name means security, something you can trust,” Chen said in an interview with BNN Bloomberg’s Amanda Lang on Monday. “I think we’ve talked about it ourselves, it should be branded it as privacy, ultra-security.”

“Whether it’s in kitchen devices or health devices, or on the handset, people look at it and say this a trusting device I have –  it has good, secure software in it,” he added. “And I hope that’s eventually what we will be known for.”

BlackBerry has mostly been known for its once-iconic smartphone devices but its focus has shifted on software development in recent years amid an ongoing turnaround effort stemmed from competitors such as Apple Inc. and Samsung Corp. in the mobile phone market.  

The company announced last month it was buying California-based cybersecurity firm Cylance for US$1.4 billion, but at the time, Chen noted the company wouldn’t be acquiring anymore sizable assets in the short term.

“I think that people are aware [of the issue of security], the question is how much importance do they put on it? I mean, everybody says its important,” Chen said

“But ultra-security, how important is it to you? If you use an IPhone or an Android phone, do you believe then, [that] ‘good’ is ‘good enough’? I think that’s the one thing that we have to overcome.”

Chen added that when it comes to security and privacy, there should be no compromsie whatsoever.

“People seem to be comfortable by trading data for its convenience,” he said. “We need to reeducate the world on that.”