How BlackBerry is protecting the world’s privacy

by TOM BERG

BlackBerry is no longer in your hand. It is all around you.

So says David Castignola, who leads BlackBerry Spark Field Operations & Marketing at 400 Spectrum Center.

The company’s privacy software is now used by all G-7 nations, all leading commercial banks, insurance companies and media organizations, and nine of the top 10 automotive manufacturers.

“Our technologies are used by the world’s most important organizations,” Castignola says. “Our software is in over 500 million endpoints, including 175 million cars.”

That means BlackBerry is probably helping you too.

Predicting the future with AI

Traditional security software is reactive – it responds to a threat as it emerges, attempting to block unknown malware at a point in time. BlackBerry is different.

Its software predicts the threat before it emerges, sometimes up to two years in advance. It uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to provide internet safety and privacy on everything from your computer to your phone to your car.

“The ability to protect organizations from computer software attacks well before they are developed and deployed means that when other IT teams are scrambling, it will be business as usual for BlackBerry customers,” Castignola says.

He recalls a moment when BlackBerry’s predictive technology helped prevent massive computer breaches from brutal ransomware aptly named WannaCry.

“WannaCry rendered millions of computers across the globe useless,” he says. “But BlackBerry clients were protected by our machine-learning model developed, trained and deployed 24 months before the malware was first reported.”

Tech tower

BlackBerry landed in Irvine after purchasing cyber- security firm Cylance last year.

Its name is perched atop the 21-story, glass-enclosed 400 Spectrum Center – the tallest building in Orange County, along with its sister tower, 200 Spectrum. Together, the two offer unobstructed views across Irvine and to Saddleback Mountain. Of note, the buildings are also among the first hybrid-electric powered buildings in America.

BlackBerry is part of a network of world-leading tech companies – 900 in total – that call Irvine home. “Irvine is a renowned technology hub,” Castignola says, “It has a deep talent pool and easy access to many of our customers and clients.”

This corporate connectivity is part of the Irvine Master Plan’s original concept for Irvine Spectrum District – a 5,000-acre, triangle-shaped region between I-405 and I-5.

Irvine Company designed the Spectrum District in the 1980s as a hub for tech and innovation companies. It now provides 100,000 jobs with the world’s leading tech companies, like BlackBerry, Blizzard Entertainment and Amazon.

Positioned for growth

As for BlackBerry, its post-phone era is firmly in growth mode, both globally and in Irvine. The company is up 20% year-over-year – about $1.1 billion in total revenue. And its future is bright.

“There is a reason governments and businesses globally chose BlackBerry devices,” Castignola says.

“Now they trust and believe in the security products we create today.”

That, Castignola says, is why BlackBerry has become “synonymous with privacy, security and trustworthiness.”