BlackBerry was once one of the biggest names in smartphones, but that era has long since passed thanks to the dominance of iOS and Android. After losing most of its market share in the last five years, the Canadian-owned BlackBerry Limited corporation has since shifted its focus to concentrating on cybersecuirty consulting and the development of cybersecurity tools. In its latest attempt to stay relevant in a rapidly-changing consumer electronics market, BlackBerry has now launched a new line of cybersecurity software aimed specifically at protecting autonomous vehicles from intrusions.
BlackBerry showed off the system at the North American International Automotive Show happening in Detroit this month. The new software line is called BlackBerry Jarvis, likely inspired by the artificial intelligence from the Iron Man films franchise. Jarvis is a cloud-based tool which is designed to automatically scan networks and systems for vulnerabilities much faster than humans can. BlackBerry claims their new software can find weaknesses in mere minutes that would take human programmers days or weeks to find. Jaguar Land Rover has already employed Jarvis to help them secure their in-car computer systems. BlackBerry CEO John Chen says their software is intended to help automakers keep up with the ever-changing demands of the cybersecurity world:
Connected and autonomous vehicles require some of the most complex software ever developed, creating a significant challenge for automakers who must ensure the code complies with industry and manufacturer-specific standards while simultaneously battle-hardening a very large and tempting attack surface for cybercriminals.
While Jarvis is currently geared towards the auto market, BlackBerry says the product could be configured to scan systems in other sectors like defense, telecommunications, or healthcare. Jarvis has already been licensed to Delphi Automotive, Ford Motor Company, and even Chinese internet giant Baidu for use in their autonomous vehicle systems. Will Jarvis and the growing self-driving car market help turn things around for BlackBerry?