Most experts agree that quantum computers are very unlikely to break traditional encryption models based on symmetric (AES and SHA-2) and asymmetric (RSA and elliptic curve cryptography) algorithms any time soon.
But the key word here is “soon” because one day they will. Preparing for this ominous moment, clever people are building up our readiness with what’s called “quantum-safe” algorithms. Able to operate on classical computers, these algorithms are being designed to safeguard against the onslaught from quantum computers. Google’s claim of quantum supremacy a few years back, as well as other advancements in the sector, have those in the know worried, hence the dial-up on preparation.
In view of this, major global players in the telecommunications industry such as Ericsson and smaller companies are building up their IP in post-quantum encryption.
To date, there are dozens of companies highlighting this problem with solutions in quantum cryptography, a lot of them featured in 25 Companies Building The Quantum Cryptography & Communications Markets, which TQD published back in January of this year.
Others doing a splendid job in this sector not mentioned in that piece are Alternatio and Quantum Blockchains from Poland, France’s CryptoNext Security, QuantiCor Security, a German startup, and finally ReactiveQ operating out of Canada.
However, just to create some sort of equal playing field, TQD would like to mention a few other startups that we have never covered but think deserve some of our readership’s time, either because they have a cracking IP or consist of talented teams hell-bent on breaking the status quo.
As always, the list is not exhaustive (how could six ever be?). If exhaustive is your thing, however, and you’re a bit of a geek for data, why not sign up for The Quantum Insider (TQI).
TQI collects and structures global data on quantum technologies and delivers this in a user-friendly platform, so why not give the basic version a try today, it’s free!
1. Agile PQ
Founded by Colonel Bruce Conway — a specialist in military and satellite communications for the U.S. Air Force — in 2015, AgilePQ provides solutions for security and encryption that fit all IoT devices. The startup’s technology is based on Conway’s research on enhancing secure communication links with unmanned aerial vehicles.
The AgilePQ Platform is a quantum-safe, end-to-end and data-in-transit security solution that offers an unprecedented level of versatility and customizability while its “small footprint” of fast, power-efficient and lightweight cryptography algorithms are more suitable for IoT than legacy standards.
2. Flipscloud Inc
Providing an advanced quantum-level encryption system, Flipscloud was founded in Taipei, Taiwan in 2013 by Allan Ko. With a goal of creating “high security and strong encryption solutions that will protect Internet of Things (IoT) platform, end-to-end and big data security, the startup also has its eye on adaptive defence technology on the IoT, cloud services and the big data market.
3. Quant-X Security & Coding GmbH
A little different from the first two, Quant-X Security & Coding is a consultancy startup that offers support in the areas of information security, information risk management, IT-Security, post-quantum security, and quantum algorithms. Set up in Hannover, Germany in 2019 by information security specialist Xenia Bogomolec, the expert team the founder has built up since then — with a wealth of scientific projects and papers under its belt — is working hard on post-quantum security and quantum algorithms “for the near future security of enterprises and society and the development of technologies.”
4. Qubalt GmbH
Uwe Resas, Wulf Harder and Stefan Weber founded Qubalt in Hamburg, Germany in 2015. A leading provider of quantum and cryptanalysis-secure cryptographic solutions that focus on the automotive, aerospace and defence industries, Qubalt’s “tailor-made” service can find solutions to problems using a combination of algorithms, software, hardware, and its novel IP.
Originally started via the Mach37 Cyber Accelerator by Ryan Lester and Joshua Boehm — former SpaceX engineers — in 2014, Cyph is currently backed by the Goel Fund and Center for Innovative Technology.
The Claymont, Deleware startup offers quantum-resistant encrypted communication solutions through its patented technology, developed by the pair of engineers that was audited by Cure53, and the basis of research presentations at Black Hat and DEF CON.
A Bulgarian startup founded by Zdravko Popov, Svetoslav Sotirov and Boris Grozdanoff in 2019, Qaisec’s headquarters is in the country’s capital, Sofia.
The startup provides state-of-the-art, end-to-end solutions for quantum encryption in the banking, telecommunications, entertainment, and gambling industries, corporate data security and state data security. Part of the solution is offered by Qaisec’s “first in the world” quantum encrypted blockchain (QEB). Foreseeing a time in the near future when AI technology will serve humanity, the team is getting to work now.
The story has only just begun as far as quantum and post-quantum encryption as a reliable technology goes. These six are just the tip of the iceberg of what has yet to come — a flood of them onto the market. The early adopters will have — at least temporarily — a competitive advantage over those yet to realize the potential quantum mechanics will have on encryption. And it’s clear these half a dozen already now that the future is very much with a capital Q.
Have we missed any out or got something wrong? If so, don’t hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.