Endpoint/Device Security, Content

BlackBerry CEO Reveals Cylance MDR, MTD Roadmap Clues

BlackBerry Cylance is preparing multiple moves to further integrate and accelerate the cybersecurity software business, BlackBerry CEO John Chen revealed during the company's December 20 earnings call. Key focus areas include managed detection and response (MDR), mobile threat defense (MTD), and plenty more.

BlackBerry CEO John Chen
BlackBerry CEO John Chen

BlackBerry acquired Cylance in November 2018 for $1.4 billion in cash. Investors and partners -- including MSSPs -- have been watching closely to see how the BlackBerry Cylance business competes against fast-growth rivals like CrowdStrike, which launched an IPO in June 2019.

Among the major focus areas for BlackBerry: Promoting mobile threat defense (MTD), which leverages Cylance's AI endpoint security and BlackBerry's UEM (Unified Endpoint Management) capabilities, Chen said during the earnings call.

Describing the MTD offering, Chen asserted:

"This second-generation MTD product, which we delivered only eight months after the close of acquisition demonstrated a collaborative teamwork of the two development teams. The teams work very well together to execute a common product road map and share the same vision. We have a total of fourteen beta customers, which includes several top multi financial institutions and notable telecommunication companies. They all have shared very positive feedback. In fact, we received our first customer order during the quarter."

Chen also pointed to progress with Spark, a secure IoT (Internet of Things) platform.

Revenue Updates

For Q3 of fiscal 2020, BlackBerry Cylance revenue rose 13 percent year-over-year. Also, annual recurring revenue (ARR) was $171 million, up 15 percent year-over-year.

"We anticipate stronger growth in the future as we have now released an enhanced endpoint detection and response, the EDR technology product and as well as a single-agent platform," Chen said. "The lack of these features in the past have prevented us from winning more deals as well as the larger-sized deals, of course, until now."

BlackBerry also launched CylanceGuard -- a managed detection and response (MDR) solution -- during the quarter. Demand for the solution has been strong in the SMB market, Chen said. But MSSP- and MSP-centric features are still forthcoming, MSSP Alert believes.

BlackBerry will also preview various integrated QNX and Cylance product integrations at the Consumer Electronics Show in January 2020, Chen indicated.

BlackBerry Cylance: Longer Term Moves

Amid all those milestones, the company is "now ready to increase sales and marketing synergies as well as partner cross-selling. Given the operational efficiency gains so far, we remain comfortable that Cylance will be accretive in fiscal 2021," Chen said.

Longer term, watch for BlackBerry Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) to gain various Cylance-focused integrations, Chen hinted. A related effort may include the Spark platform gaining Zero Trust capabilities to solve management and security needs -- for both mobile and fixed location users. More details will likely surface at BlackBerry's Analyst Day, Chen hinted. We've reached out to the company for the event's specific date and location.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.