Blackberry CEO: Why there’s no "magic pill” for cybersecurity


The CEO of BlackBerry has warned businesses that they need to act on the basics of cybersecurity protection if they want to ensure they stay protected.

Speaking at a media roundtable at this week’s BlackBerry Security Summit in London, John Chen warned companies not to get caught up in the “cat-and-mouse game” with hackers looking to exploit weaknesses in unpatched systems.

Asked by ITProPortal what single piece of advice he would recommend to companies looking to stay protected, Chen replied that cybersecurity needs to be a company-wide initiative, with all departments becoming involved.

"If I have any need to have a cyber security process or mindset that is company-wide, not just department by department,” he told ITProPortal.

"I think this is a physical process...that determines how safe (a company) can get to. This is more than just technology,” he said.

“It's amazing how some of the big cybersecurity breaches that we've seen around this year (always) have to do with companies not being up to date with patches...because the problem is already known, by the good guys and the bad guys ...but the good guys never take the precaution to patch quickly!" 

Chen noted that BlackBerry “forces” its own internal systems to be patched and updated on a rolling basis - which can be annoying if a download interrupts you in the middle of doing some work. 

“But this discipline, and the completeness of this's about discipline, it's about processes, it's about completeness - it's just never about technology, it's not like there's a 'magic pill' you can take and everything will be fine."

(Image: © Image Credit: Blackberry)

BlackBerry has reinvented itself as a software power player in the last few years, following the decline of its phone hardware line, with Chen now keen to promote the company’s wide range of services and mobile tools.

Last month, the company's most recent financial reports revealed that BlackBerry's software and services revenue hit a record $196 million in the quarter, resulting in a company profit of $19 million for that time.

Chen was keen to highlight BlackBerry’s strength in business and endpoint security during the session, noting that, "we are the best mobile security solution...we know mobility."

"Competition is a given when the market is big,” he notes, “(but) we have such a unique area that we're number one on, it makes us a good partner to be with."