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BlackBerry to buy WatchDox to bolster data security

[TORONTO] BlackBerry Ltd said on Tuesday it is acquiring privately-held US tech company WatchDox, which makes software that secures files, in a bid to further bolster its security credentials.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The WatchDox software, which is being used by some of the world's largest federal agencies, private equity firms, and a slew of major Hollywood studios, gives clients full visibility and control over how their files are edited, copied, printed or forwarded. And it gives administrators the ability to lock, or remove access to files compromised in a data breach.

Earlier this year, BlackBerry Chief Executive John Chen said he saw a part of the company's targeted software revenue growth in the current fiscal year coming from acquisitions of companies that will allow it to sell more value-added services.

Waterloo, Ontario-based BlackBerry made a couple of strategic acquisitions last year that have allowed it to sell such value-added services.

In July it announced it was buying Secusmart, a privately-held German firm that specializes in voice and data encryption used by the German government and other customers. In September, it acquired Movirtu, a British-based tech start-up whose software allows users to have two phone numbers on the same device with a single SIM card.

The purchases have helped BlackBerry ramp up its portfolio of services that cater to the needs of its core base of clients, such as corporations and government agencies.

REUTERS