Security Experts:

BlackBerry to Acquire Document Control firm WatchDox

BlackBerry announced on Tuesday that it has agreed to acquire WatchDox, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based provider of enterprise solutions to access, share and protect sensitive documents, for an undisclosed sum.

Along with the acquisition, BlackBerry said it would open a new security-focused R&D center in Israel.

The move to acquire WatchDox would help enhance BlackBerry’s own mobile security offerings and give customers added control over their files even after data leaves the corporate network, the company said.

WatchDox's software will be sold as a value-added service that complements BlackBerry's Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) portfolio, and will be available with BES12.

“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,” BlackBerry explained. “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 acquisition of WatchDox follows BlackBerry's purchase of German anti-eavesdropping firm Secusmart in 2014.

"BlackBerry is constantly expanding the potential of data security so that it enables more collaboration and sharing rather than creating limitations," said John Chen, BlackBerry Executive Chairman and CEO. "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. 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 has received over $35 million in funding, including $12 million in Jan. 2013 and $9.25 million in Jan. 2011. Investors in the company include Shlomo Kramer (co-founder of Check Point and Imperva), Blackstone, Shasta Ventures, Gemini Israel Funds, Millennium Technology Value Partners and Gemini Israel Funds. 

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For more than 10 years, Mike Lennon has been closely monitoring the threat landscape and analyzing trends in the National Security and enterprise cybersecurity space. In his role at SecurityWeek, he oversees the editorial direction of the publication and is the Director of several leading security industry conferences around the world.