5 Quantum Cryptography and Quantum Encryption Companies
In a recent article, we talked about 10 startups that are working on various aspects of quantum computing and promised our lovely readers a follow-up article on 5 quantum cryptography and quantum encryption companies. We quickly realized we are out of our league when we couldn’t even define the word quantum so in our last article we defined everything quantum for you in simple terms. The key takeaway was that while today’s encryption methods can take millions of years to crack, this might change when quantum computing goes mainstream. Quantum cryptography promises to give us a far more secure method of encrypting messages, even one that might be impossible to hack just based on the rules of physics.
There is an incredible amount of funding going into computer security at the moment, and we recently profiled 9 hot cybersecurity startups, some of which are using artificial intelligence to identify security threats. We also put together a portfolio of 10 cybersecurity stocks that you can buy and trade just like a mini-ETF as seen below:
With cybersecurity receiving a tremendous amount of investing for all sides, we’re not surprised to see at least 5 startups working on quantum cryptography. Here they are.
Founded in 2012, Qubitekk has taken in at least $2 million in funding (in additions to various grants) in order to develop a machine-to-machine communication device that can help protect critical infrastructure like electrical grids or oil pipelines. Their solution works as follows:
A key part of the above solution is the world’s first plug-and-play entangled photon generator, the QES. The technology permits both wired and wireless devices to authenticate messages using quantum phenomena. Qubitekk is also working on a photonic quantum computer. In late 2016, Qubitekk will release a scientific paper describing the company’s new approach to photonic qubits.
Founded in 2006, Australian firm Quintessence labs has taken in an undisclosed amount of funding to develop an entire suite of quantum security products. In the world of computer programming, and particularly in cryptography, there are many ways to generate a random number. Present random number generation uses algorithms so that they are not “truly random”. Quintessence Labs has built a Quantum Random Number Generator (QRNG) called qStream which can spew forth random numbers at a rate of 1 gigabit per second.
In addition to qStream, Quintessence Labs also offers a key and policy management solution called qCrypt, a data protection solution called qProtect, and a cloud-hosted encryption solution called qSecure. The Company has partnered with some big names including Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Gartner, and IBM. Their customers include the US government and military, IBM, NetDocuments, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and VMWare. Just a few days ago, Quintessence announced a strategic partnership with PKWARE, the original company behind PKUNZIP (if you’re old school you’ll remember what that was). PKWARE’s Smartcrypt product will begin using random numbers generated by qStream devices.
Update 10/27/2021: QuintessenceLabs has raised $18 million in Series B Funding to expand its customer base globally. This brings the company’s total funding to $49.3 million to date.
Founded in 2010 by a group of professors from Perdue University, Nano-Meta Technologies has taken in an undisclosed amount of funding to work on some pretty high tech projects. The Company lists at least three projects they are working on including an extremely dense method for storing digital data, a new nano-drug delivery method that uses Titanium Nitride, and a thermoelectric technology of sorts called thermophotovoltaics. One area of research quantum they are pursuing is that of nano-diamonds which can be used emit single photons for cryptography applications:
We have no idea what that means except that with a single photon you can then use it to create encryption keys like we explained before. Our main impression of nano-meta technologies is that they are trying to move in many directions at once and at some point, they need to secure commercial partnerships that demonstrate that their ideas can be turned into viable products to be sold.
Founded in 2001, Geneva-based startup ID Quantique has taken in around $5.6 million in funding to develop an entire suite of quantum cryptography solutions that are divided into three areas. The first area is quantum random number generators (QRNGs) that can plug into a PCI slot or USB port. You would actually need 60 of these PCI QRNG devices to equal 1 of the qStream devices from Quintessence Labs we discussed earlier. The second business area of IDQ is photon counting hardware like the appliances seen below:
There are all kinds of applications that require devices that can count photons in addition to just quantum cryptography. The third part of IDQ’s business is in providing quantum-safe network encryption solutions for the protection of data in transit over computer networks. The Company has government, enterprise, and academic customers in more than 60 countries.
Founded in 2009, Post-Quantum has taken in almost $10.5 million in funding to develop an encryption system that cannot be hacked by quantum computers. The Company is currently offering four different products as seen in the below diagram:
PQ Chat is a secure messaging app. PQ Share is a key-splitting technology that requires consensus approval to grant access to sensitive information. PQ Check is a biometric authentication tech that uses video selfies to create an audit trail for authentication and fraud deterrence purposes. PQ Guard is a patented file encryption solution based on their “Never The Same (NTS)” technology that is resistant to being hacked by a quantum computer. The Company’s customers include Barclays and the Government of the United Kingdom.
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