Blackberry, Malaysian govt sign cybersecurity deal in San Francisco


Fahmi Fadzil witnessing the signing ceremony between Malaysian Communications and MCMC and Blackberry in San Francisco on Nov 17, 2023. ― Bernama photo

SAN FRANCISCO (Nov 18): BlackBerry Ltd signed a long-term software and services agreement with the Malaysian government to strengthen the country’s “cybersecurity posture” here today.

BlackBerry said the landmark deal will enable the Malaysian government to leverage the full suite of its trusted cybersecurity solutions and support the integrity of the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) while upskilling the nation’s workforce with advanced cybersecurity technology and training.

“The Malaysian public sector will benefit from secure, reliable, real-time access to BlackBerry software and services, hosted in a sovereign cloud,” the Canadian software company, which specialises in cybersecurity, said in a statement today.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said Malaysia “must forge international partnerships that embrace cutting-edge technology to ensure it will continue to grow, prosper and keep the nation’s data and citizens safe.”

He said Malaysia should also invite foreign investments that could rapidly scale up and train a world class cybersecurity workforce.

“We are pleased to collaborate with BlackBerry to support Malaysia’s goal to be a leading example of cyber-resilience – with the promise of data sovereignty, for our government information, data, and communications,” Anwar, who is also the finance minister, said in the same statement.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said cybersecurity is a key pillar of Canada’s Indo-Pacific strategy, which aims to advance peace, security, and cooperation in the region.

“Cybersecurity is a shared challenge that requires international cooperation, which is why we strongly support BlackBerry’s Cybersecurity Center of Excellence in Malaysia, an important bilateral partner of Canada,” he said.

Trudeau said by supporting Malaysia’s future cyber-defenders and establishing stronger regional networks for the sharing of expertise between Canada and Southeast Asia, both nations can further strengthen their resilience and capacity with each other, and with the wider region to counter, deter and respond to cyber threats.

According to the statement, the deal includes BlackBerry’s world-leading cybersecurity solutions powered by Cylance® AI to predict and prevent cyberattacks, NATO-certified BlackBerry® SecuSUITE® for secure communications, BlackBerry® UEM (Unified Endpoint Management) to protect government data among a roaming workforce, and BlackBerry® AtHoc® used by governments globally for critical event management and incident response.

Blackberry to establish cybersecurity centre in KL

BlackBerry also announced that it will establish a world-class Cybersecurity Centre of Excellence (CCoE) in Kuala Lumpur in 2024, which is also its first CCoE in the Asia-Pacific region. “The fast-growing economy of Malaysia is a strategic choice for BlackBerry’s first CCoE in the region,” it said in the statement.

It said the CCoE will offer specialised training to advance Malaysian cybersecurity capacity and readiness, with the goal of reducing the country’s shortfall of 12,000 cyber professionals.

“The government of Canada welcomed the establishment of the CCoE, and plans to work closely with BlackBerry, the government of Malaysia, and the CCoE to deliver cybersecurity capacity-building assistance to Southeast Asia, as mandated under Canada’s Indo-Pacific Strategy,” it added.

According to BlackBerry, the CCoE will offer cybersecurity education and training, as well as “always-on” cyber threat intelligence and incident response teams to help the country safeguard against malicious cyber activity targeting businesses, governments, and infrastructure.

“The CCoE also will enhance intelligence sharing between nations and expand BlackBerry’s global threat intelligence network,” it said.

BlackBerry cybersecurity president John Giamatteo said the CCoE in Malaysia is “designed to support the Prime Minister’s strategic goal of growing a skilled cybersecurity workforce and positioning Malaysia as a critical regional hub of threat intelligence.” Giamatteo will oversee the deployment of BlackBerry cybersecurity solutions in Malaysia and the establishment of the BlackBerry CCoE.

Joining Giamatteo at the signing ceremony was BlackBerry chief government affairs and public policy officer Marjorie Dickman, who is responsible for strategic oversight of BlackBerry’s global government relations and public policy operations.

Also present were Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil, MCMC executive chairman Tan Sri Mohamad Salim Fateh Din, and other members of the Malaysian delegation who attended the Apec Leaders’ Summit in San Francisco. ― Bernama