Cylance Inc.
TypePrivate [1]
IndustryComputer security
Founded2012; 10 years ago (2012)
FounderStuart McClure, Ryan Permeh
United States
ServicesAnti-virus, anti-malware
RevenueIncrease $100.1 Million(2019)[2]
Number of employees
ParentBlackBerry Limited

Cylance Inc. is an American software firm that develops antivirus programs and other kinds of computer software that prevents, rather than reactively detect, viruses and malware. The company is based in Irvine, California.[4] Cylance has been described as “the first company to apply artificial intelligence, algorithms, and machine learning to cyber security.”[5]

In February 2019, the company was acquired by BlackBerry Limited.[6][7]

The company's mission is to block computer viruses or malware before they have an effect on a user's computer.[5]


Cylance was founded by Stuart McClure and Ryan Permeh in 2012. McClure was previously co-founder of Foundstone, a security consultancy. He sold Foundstone to McAfee in 2004, and became that firm's Chief Tech Officer.[8] McClure is also the author of Hacking Exposed, reportedly the best-selling IT security book to date.[9]

Cylance's founding came about as a result of McClure's speeches on cybersecurity. In them, he was often asked how he protected his own computer. He noted that he lacked trust in any security technology since it was all reactive in nature (for example, legacy antivirus technology), meaning it only cleaned up after an attack or prevented it a second time. Consequently, McClure began developing a technology based on "proactive protection".[9]


A July 2015 report indicated that Cylance had raised $42 million from investors including Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, Dell, CapitalOne, and TenEleven Ventures.[8] Cylance received another $100 million in June 2016 with lead investors Blackstone Tactical Opportunities (part of The Blackstone Group) and Insight Venture Partners.[10] They received an investment from In-Q-Tel in September 2015.[11][12]

Product Features

McClure has stated that Cylance's antivirus product does not use typical security features, such as unique signatures, heuristics, behavioral analysis, sandboxing, virtualization, or blacklisting. Rather, the product uses artificial intelligence to identify and stop attackers. McClure has stated that Cylance's security features are similar to the human brain's way of identifying threats, wherein it "teaches" computers to identify indicators of an attack.[8]

Operation Cleaver

Operation Cleaver was a covert cyberwarfare operation carried out by the Iranian government against targets around the world, specifically critical infrastructure entities. Cylance uncovered the operation and described it in a report released in late 2014. Iranian officials rejected Cylance's conclusions, but the FBI tacitly confirmed them.[13][14][15]

MOTEX Collaboration

In May 2016, Cylance announced a new collaboration with MOTEX, an Osaka-based firm, to integrate MOTEX LanScope, an endpoint security management, and CylancePROTECT, Cylance's leading product, which proactively detects and prevents malware. The end product will be called CylancePROTECT Cat. This collaboration brings Cylance's activities into the Japanese market.[5]

Acquisition by BlackBerry Limited

In February 2019, the company was acquired by BlackBerry Limited for $1.4 billion.[16][17][18]

Honors and awards

The company has won several awards.[19] In March 2018, Cylance won the 2018 MSPWorld Cup Award.[20]

In November 2017, LinkedIn recognized Cylance as one of the "Top Companies | Startups" of the year 2017.[21]

In October 2017, Cylance was certified as a "Great Place to Work" on[22]

In October 2017, Cylance was recognized as a Cyber Security Leader of 2017 in Cyber Defense Magazine.[23]

In September 2017, Cylance was announced a winner of the Gartner Peer Insights Customer Choice Award for Endpoint Protection Platforms by Gartner Inc.[24]

In August 2017, Cylance made the Inc. Magazine's Inc. 5000 List for the second year in a row.[25]

In June 2017, Cylance won the Special Jury Award for Best of Show - Security Product at Interop Tokyo 2017.[26][27]

In June 2017, Cylance's top product, CylancePROTECT, was named Best Enterprise Security Solution at the 2017 SC Media Awards Europe event.[28][29]

In May 2017, Cylance made the CNBC Disruptor 50 list[30] for the second year in a row.[31]

In April 2017, Cylance was given a 5-star rating in CRN's 2017 Partner Program Guide.[32]

In March 2017, CylancePROTECT was named Best Endpoint Protection Product of 2016 by SANS Community.[33]

In July 2016, McClure was named Orange County Entrepreneur of the Year in the category of technology.[9]

In 2016, Cylance was ranked #23 on the Forbes Cloud 100 list.[34]

See also


  1. ^ "Cylance in Irvine bought by BlackBerry for $1.4 billion". Feb 22, 2019.
  2. ^ "Cylance". Forbes.
  3. ^ Work, Great Place to. "Working at Cylance". Great Place to Work®.
  4. ^ "Company Overview of Cylance Inc". Bloomberg L.P.
  5. ^ a b c Guru, Sagganik; Khyati, Jain (May 12, 2016). "U.S. based Cylance Inc. and Japan's MOTEX Unite to Establish Advanced Cyber Threat Prevention Solutions in Japan". Cyber Secure India. Archived from the original on August 17, 2016. Retrieved August 4, 2016.
  6. ^
  7. ^ "BlackBerry: What the Cylance Acquisition Means for Cyber Business | Fortune".
  8. ^ a b c Hackett, Robert (Jul 28, 2015). "Cylance raises $42 million for AI-based security software". Fortune Magazine.
  9. ^ a b c "EY Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2016 Orange County". Smart Business Online. Jul 1, 2016.
  10. ^ "Cylance Announces $100 Million Series D Funding Round Led by Blackstone Tactical Opportunities and Insight Venture Partners". Wallstreet:Online AG. 2016-06-08. Retrieved 2016-11-25.
  11. ^ "Cylance Announces Strategic Partnership with In-Q-Tel". In-Q-Tel. In-Q-Tel. 2016-02-16. Retrieved 2020-02-17.
  12. ^ "Cylance". In-Q-Tel. In-Q-Tel. Retrieved 2020-02-17.
  13. ^ Plummer, Quinten (December 15, 2014). "Operation Cleaver is Bigger Threat than Previously Thought, FBI Warns US Businesses". Tech Times. Retrieved March 30, 2015.
  14. ^ Bertrand, Natasha (December 8, 2014). "Iran Is Officially A Real Player In The Global Cyber War". Business Insider. Retrieved March 30, 2015.
  15. ^ Riley, Michael A; Robertson, Jordan (December 2, 2014). "Iran-Backed Hackers Target Airports, Carriers: Report". Bloomberg News. Retrieved March 30, 2015.
  16. ^ "BlackBerry Completes Acquisition of Cylance" (Press release). PR Newswire. February 21, 2019.
  17. ^ Coop, Alex (February 21, 2019). "BlackBerry completes acquisition of Cylance". IT World Canada.
  18. ^ Team, Trefis. "Why BlackBerry's Acquisition Of Cylance Makes Sense". Forbes. Retrieved 2019-08-12.
  19. ^ "Stock Market | FinancialContent Business Page". Retrieved 2018-03-22.
  20. ^ "Cylance® Wins 2018 MSPWorld Cup Award™ - Managed Services & Cloud Computing Blog". 2018-03-20. Retrieved 2018-03-22.
  21. ^ "LinkedIn Top Companies | Startups: The 50 industry disruptors you need to know now". 2017-11-01. Retrieved 2018-03-22.
  22. ^ "Cylance". Retrieved 2018-03-22.
  23. ^ "Cyber Security Leaders 2017 – Cyber Defense Magazine". Retrieved 2018-03-22.
  24. ^ "Winners Announced for the Gartner Peer Insights Customer Choice Awards for Endpoint Protection Platforms". Retrieved 2018-03-22.
  25. ^ "Cylance® Named to Inc. 5000 List for Second Consecutive Year with More Than 1,454% Revenue Growth Over Three Years". Retrieved 2018-03-22.
  26. ^ "CylancePROTECT Wins Special Jury Award for Best of Show Award - Security Product at Interop Tokyo 2017". Business Wire. Retrieved 2018-03-22.
  27. ^ "CylancePROTECT® Wins Special Jury Award for Best of Show Award - Security Product at Interop Tokyo 2017". Retrieved 2018-03-22.
  28. ^ "CylancePROTECT® Wins Best Enterprise Security Solution in 2017 SC Media Awards Europe". Retrieved 2018-03-22.
  29. ^ "SC Awards Europe 2017: And the winners of this year's awards are..." SC Media UK. 2017-06-07. Retrieved 2018-03-22.
  30. ^ CNBC (2017-05-16). "Meet the 2017 CNBC Disruptor 50 companies". CNBC. Retrieved 2018-03-22.
  31. ^ "Cylance Named To CNBC Disruptor 50 List for Second Consecutive Year". Retrieved 2018-03-22.
  32. ^ "Cylance Achieves 5-Star Rating in CRN's 2017 Partner Program Guide". Yahoo Finance. April 10, 2017. Retrieved 2018-03-22.
  33. ^ "SANS Institute - SANS Best of Awards". Retrieved 2018-03-22.
  34. ^ "Forbes Cloud 100". Forbes. Retrieved 17 November 2016.