BlackBerry buys German security company

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BlackBerry buying SecuSmart

Canada’s former tech darling and smartphone marker BlackBerry has purchased a German anti-eavesdropping firm for an undisclosed amount.

The Waterloo-based company said it is buying SecuSmart in a

move to bulk up its security assets at a security-themed event held in New York.

BlackBerry Chief Executive Officer John Chen says the acquisition will address growing concerns about threats to individual privacy and national security.

“We are always improving our security solutions to keep up with the growing complexity of enterprise mobility, with devices being used for more critical tasks and to store more critical information, and security attacks becoming more sophisticated,” Chen said in a press release.

Germany’s SecuSmart provides high-level voice and data encryption for governments, businesses and telecommunications service providers.

BlackBerry has previously worked with SecuSmart to develop special technology for phones that were distributed to several German government agencies, as well as German government ministries and leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The acquisition still faces some conditions, including regulatory approval.

The acquisition is the latest move from Chen, who was hired last year to reshape BlackBerry, cut costs and lead an effort to find a better footing in the highly competitive tech sector.

Since joining the company in November, Chen has hired several executives from software maker Sybase, a struggling company he helped reshape into a profitable operation focused on mobile business technology.

— Canadian Press contributed to this story