Concept: British startup PQShield has launched post-quantum cryptography solutions for hardware and software applications. It can provide secure cryptography solutions for messaging platforms, apps, and mobile technologies, as well as smart cards and embedded security chips to protect sensitive data from quantum computers.

Nature of Disruption: PQShield offers ready-made and tailored IP (Internet Protocol) for secure elements, IoT firmware, PKI (Public Key Infrastructure) and server technologies, and end-user applications to help customers transition their product lines from legacy RSA (Rivest-Shamir-Adleman) encryption and Elliptic Curve cryptography to quantum-secure standards. Its products are available in three different versions. The first is a system on a chip (SoC), which is designed to be used with hardware such as smartcards or processors. It offers software solutions in the form of a cryptographic SDK that can be integrated into mobile and server apps and technologies for data processing and security operations. And a toolset targeted at communications providers that are built specifically to secure messaging services. PQSoC is a post-quantum SoC crypto co-processor toolkit designed for embedded devices. Its standard programming tools and full system emulation make it simple to use. It’s available as a modular IP or a self-contained solution, and it’s FIPS (Federal Information Processing Standards) 140-3 compliant and immune to side-channel assaults. The PQSDK, the cryptographic SDK for mobile and server technologies enables modern, agile, and safe implementations of post-quantum and classical cryptographic primitives for use with PKI, TLS (transport layer security), and VPN (virtual private network) applications. Its ‘PQE2E’ Encryption solution for messaging platforms and apps is a software development toolkit for allowing end-to-end encrypted messaging solutions based on post-quantum methods and a new, secure signal-derived protocol. 

Outlook: As quantum computers advance, post-quantum cryptography would be required to prevent these systems from being able to decrypt encrypted applications arbitrarily. PQShield’s post-quantum cryptography security solutions can provide technological decision-makers and organizations with future-proof encryption that quantum computers couldn’t readily penetrate. Governments, automobile OEMs (original equipment manufacturers), industrial IoT, and technology consultancy are among the startup’s customers. Its clients include both private and public entities including Bosch. In January 2022, PQShield raised $20M in a Series A fundraising round led by American investment firm Addition, with participation from Oxford Science Enterprises and Crane. It intends to use the funds for product development and international expansion.

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