BlackBerry has bought privately held German firm Secusmart as part of its drive to become the handset provider of choice for security-conscious clients such as government agencies and big businesses.
Secusmart, which specialises in voice and data encryption, was already a partner of the one-time business phone giant, providing BlackBerry 10 users with its Secusuite for encrypted transmission of emails and texts, secure browsing and encrypted filing.
According to the companies, Secusuite-enabled BlackBerrys are already in use by German government agencies, as well as ministers and leaders including Chancellor Angela Merkel.*
BlackBerry has been trying to reposition itself as the provider of highly secure communications for skittish corporations and publicity-shy government divisions after it was rather soundly beaten out of the consumer mobile market by Apple and Android-based mobes.
“The acquisition of Secusmart underscores our focus on addressing growing security costs and threats ranging from individual privacy to national security,” said BlackBerry chief John Chen.
“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.”
Secusmart’s managing director, Dr Hans-Christoph Quelle, said that the Secusuite solution already meets German federal and NATO security requirements for restricted communications.
“We see significant opportunities to introduce Secusmart’s solutions to more of BlackBerry’s government and enterprise customers around the world,” he added.
Secusmart said it will remain as a German limited liability company after the buyout. Neither firm has been forthcoming about the terms of the deal. ®
* Vulture Central's backroom gremlins trust that Merkel's BlackBerry isn't the phone that was hacked by the entire Five Eyes alliance.