What Canada’s innovation investment in ISARA means for new, foundational cybersecurity technologies

By Mike Brown, CTO & Co-founder

Published on April 25, 2019

Our team at ISARA is proud to be have been awarded further funds for our research and development of quantum-safe cryptography and agile technologies. ISARA is one of three organizations that received government funding on April 18 through the Strategic Innovation Fund, a program that supports transformational business investments in Canada’s most dynamic and innovative sectors.

Over the past four years, we’ve made great strides as the leader in commercial solutions for agile quantum-safe security migrations. This latest vote of confidence from the Government of Canada is key to continuing our momentum and allowing us to do even more to protect against the quantum threat to current public key cryptography, which introduces unprecedented risks and widespread vulnerabilities within everything that connects and transacts.

We’d like to share with you our plans to put this funding to work in support of our R&D goals:

Getting there first: We’re going to continue our focus on further development of quantum-safe cryptography and agile technologies that can be put into action today. We have always believed that the positive benefits of quantum computing can be realized without sacrificing security. We founded ISARA with this vision. But we are seeing the investment and pace of research increasing in quantum computing, meaning we are closer than ever to seeing a large-scale quantum computer that can break today’s security measures. The onset of large-scale quantum computing and its effect on cybersecurity necessitates new approaches to how public key cryptography is used and implemented. The funding will be used strategically to increase the pace of our research and development of new, foundational cybersecurity technologies that will allow governments and enterprises to embrace the benefits of quantum technologies without risk.

Making solutions for the real world: We are focused on offering optimized, cost-effective security solutions that will help solve the challenge of migration to new, quantum-safe standards for a wide range of vulnerable systems. The migration to quantum-safe cryptography will be complex. Every occurrence of public key algorithms must be changed. To prevent costly and logistically difficult recalls in the future and avoid exposure of secrets when a large-scale quantum computer arrives, any systems used to produce connected devices or protect confidential long-term data require a hybrid approach (using classic and quantum-safe algorithms together) today. ISARA is the only provider of both quantum-safe cryptography and agile technologies for IT migrations that are designed to simplify the creation of quantum-safe systems and applications while maintaining interoperability today.

Leveraging the brightest minds, at home: From the start, we’ve brought together significant talent in quantum-safe cryptography and security software development to form a team uniquely qualified to solve the quantum threat problem on a global scale. The Strategic Innovation Fund investment means we can continue to support the development of quantum-related skills and talent in our unique Waterloo Region ecosystem, also known as “Quantum Valley”. We have a pool of talent in this area that is essential to retain and nurture as we expand our collaborative team of security researchers and developers who are working hard to develop the cutting-edge, foundational cybersecurity technologies that will secure the future.