BlackBerry acquires Israel-based security company WatchDox

BlackBerry Ltd. has purchased a file-sharing security company in order to bolster its enterprise mobile management capabilities.

The Canadian mobile communication solutions firm did not disclose how much it is paying for WatchDox Ltd. but some media reports pegged the amount at around US$150 million.

Headquartered in Palo Alto, Calif., WatchDox maintains a research and development facility in Petah Tikva, Israel. The company provides secure collaboration and mobility tools to various industries including government, healthcare, financial services, manufacturing, law, and media.

BlackBerry (TSE: BB) said WatchDox technology will be a value-added service to complement the BlackBerry EMM portfolio and will be included in its multi-operating system solution, BES12.

BlackBerry also intends to use the WatchDox R&D facility as the basis of its own security-focused R&D centre in Israel.

“This acquisition represents another key step forward as we transition BlackBerry into the premier platform for secure mobile communications software and applications, supporting all devices and operating systems,” said John Chen, CEO of BlackBerry. “Together with last year’s Secusmart acquisition, Samsung partnership, our own internal development efforts, and now the acquisition of WatchDox, we now have capabilities to secure communications end-to-end from voice, text, messaging, data and now enterprise file-sync-and share.”

WatchDox was founded in 2008 by Moti Rafalin, CEO and Noam Livnat, vice-president of products. In 2012, the company acquired Israel remote computer access firm, InstallFree.

WatchDox offers enterprise file-sync-and-share (EFSS) solutions that allow users to protect, share and work with their files on any device. WatchDox security travels with shared files on both mobile and desktop devices to give organizations full visibility and control over how files are edited, copied, printed or forwarded.

Available as software-as-a-solution (SaaS), a virtual appliance or a hybrid, the WatchDox platform provides a single pane of glass to work with personal and enterprise content, uniquely combining consumer-style app interfaces with security that can be dialed up to suit any enterprise use case.

The solution also allows end users to revoke access or delete files remotely, enables secure mobile productivity for repositories both in the cloud and on premises, and gives administrators the ability to lock or remove access to files compromised in a data breach.

“The combination of BlackBerry’s security leadership and EMM portfolio with WatchDox technology will bring the most productive and collaborative mobility solution to organizations that need innovative ways to conduct business securely and efficiently,” Rafalin said.

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Nestor Arellano
Nestor Arellano
Toronto-based journalist specializing in technology and business news. Blogs and tweets on the latest tech trends and gadgets.

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