PQShield is a cybersecurity company that develops cryptographic secure elements and solutions for end-to-end messaging applications, mobile devices, and IoT hardware. The firm’s products are designed to protect users and entities against today’s threats, as well as the future threat of quantum computers. It is also a leading contributor to the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s post-quantum cryptography standardization project.
PQShield’s team consists of mathematicians, engineers, and cryptography experts. Its solutions are available in three formats, including a system on a chip, an end-to-end messaging platform, and public key infrastructure. These components are fully compatible with existing technology systems, making it easier to deploy new security solutions. Aside from the encryption software, PQShield is also developing a series of firmware for IoT devices.
PQShield has a strong team of 15 people working on its product development and engineering. One of its members, Ali El Kaafarani, is a research fellow at the Mathematical Institute at Oxford University, where he is involved in post-quantum cryptography. He has more than a decade of experience in cryptography and was an engineer at Hewlett-Packard Labs.
The UK-based company has been working on “future proof” cryptography, a form of cryptography that will be resistant to future quantum attacks. Currently, most encryption is based on RSA and Elliptic Curve cryptographic standards. However, these standards will be broken by a quantum computer.
This could have devastating consequences. Quantum computing is expected to take years, but if it was deployed to decode encryption keys for a variety of applications, including cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, national intelligence, and financial transactions, it would be a catastrophic threat.
As a result, government and industry officials have prioritized the risk of quantum computers. In January, the White House issued a memo requesting that all US agencies migrate to new cryptographic standards. While the process has not yet been finalized, the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has shortlisted seven algorithms for the new post-quantum cryptography standards. Of these, two of the algorithms have been developed by PQShield. Among other algorithms, it has developed a secure end-to-end encrypted messaging platform.
Crane Venture Partners
PQShield has received significant interest from industries that are concerned about quantum attack vulnerabilities, such as industrial, automotive, and semiconductor manufacturers. In addition, the company has secured funding from Innovate UK, Kindred Capital, and Crane Venture Partners. They also have strong partnerships with companies in the Netherlands and France. Some of their teams are based in the United States, and PQShield has employees in Europe and Asia.
The company has received a $20 million Series A investment led by Addition. This investment will be used to fund the company’s product development and hiring efforts. Additionally, the funds will be applied to the company’s international expansion.
A new ballgame
According to Holger Mueller, a research analyst with Constellation Research, quantum security is a new ballgame. The vast processing power of quantum machines will allow them to solve mathematical problems that underpin current public-key encryption systems. These problems will eventually be solved by a quantum computer, and the vast amount of information stored by every organization will be at risk. That’s why it’s important to prepare for the quantum threat.