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BlackBerry launches new cybersecurity R&D lab in Waterloo

BlackBerry has announced the development of a new cybersecurity research and development lab based in Waterloo.

Earlier this year, BlackBerry announced its acquisition of Cylance, an artificial intelligence and cybersecurity company, positioning themselves as one of the world’s largest cybersecurity firms.

BlackBerry’s security business was back in the news last week as they announced the development of a new cybersecurity research and development lab based out of their Waterloo operations centre.

The new lab will explore how applications of machine learning, artificial intelligence and Internet-of-Things technology can be used to improve cybersecurity – not only within mobile devices, but also in cars, medical devices, automated technology and more.

Charles Eagon, the company’s Chief Technology Officer, will lead the lab, which consists of 120 researchers, security experts, software developers and architects.

“Primarily, the purpose of this new division is to integrate emerging technologies into the work we’re currently accomplishing,” said Eagon in an interview with tech news source VentureBeat.

“As new technologies and threats emerge, BlackBerry Labs will allow us to take a proactive approach to cybersecurity, not only updating our existing solutions, but evaluating how we can branch out and provide a more comprehensive, data-based, and diverse portfolio to secure the Internet-of-Things,” he explained.

While the lab space itself is still under construction, the R&D business unit is officially up-and-running. Their initial focus will be on automotive-based applications for machine learning in cybersecurity, given the projected growth of connected cars over the next few years.

In the near future, BlackBerry will be setting up hardware labs in Waterloo and Ottawa dedicated to testing these new products.

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