BlackBerry to create security tech center in Washington, D.C.

BlackBerry CEO John Chen says the embattled smartphone maker will be opening a security center to work with government agencies on security issues.

Credit: Sarah Tew/CNET

BlackBerry CEO John Chen says the company plans to open a new security center in the U.S. to improve mobile security.

Speaking at the CES Government (CESG) event in Las Vegas, Chen said the new "Security Innovation Center" will be established in Washington, D.C., and will "serve as a hub for collaboration with key government customers and other expert partners." The CEO has previously stated the establishment of products and services for public and private sector security is important to BlackBerry, and reaffirmed this within Monday's talk.

According to the executive, more details will be available in the coming weeks. However, Chen said that the firm is working with government and industry experts to solve some of the "biggest" challenges faced by businesses and organizations today thanks to cybercrime, and the development of secure communication over mobile devices is a priority. Chen commented:

"The Washington, D.C.-based security innovation center will be focused on creating lasting partnerships that will encourage ongoing dialogue aimed at making better products and policy."

BlackBerry is known for its association with governments worldwide, but the embattled smartphone maker has recently begun to withdraw from the consumer space -- which means securing and keeping customers within government and the enterprise is now key to the company's future profitability and potentially survival. The security of PCs and mobile devices has become a key issue for many companies and organizations, and so offering products to keep businesses safe and secure is a lucrative way to retain and gain more custom.

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