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Quantum-Safe Security Specialist ISARA Raises $10 Million

Here’s alumni funding news that slipped beneath our radar: Canadian cybersecurity firm ISARA picked up a $10 million investment last month. The company, which specializes in developing quantum-safe cryptographic solutions that can be integrated into commercial products to defend against quantum computer-based cyberthreats, demonstrated its technology at our developers conference, FinDEVr London 2017.

“The global economy and our daily lives are built around a secure online ecosystem that will crumble in the face of a full-scale quantum computer,” ISARA CEO Scott Totzke explained. “Ensuring that the many significant benefits of quantum computing can be realized requires a robust set of quantum-safe security and encryption practices that are practical, affordable and agile.” Totzke said his company’s goal was to ensure that institutions are able to “enter the Quantum Age with confidence and optimism.”

The November investment was led by Shasta Ventures and adds to an $11.5 million investment ISARA received from Quantum Valley Investments in 2015. The company’s total funding now stands at $21.5 million.

Because quantum computers are more effective at factoring large numbers compared to classical computers, there is a rising danger that cybercriminals will use quantum computing technology to take advantage of the fact that modern encryption standards are based on large-number factoring. Totzke has warned that cyber attacks leveraging quantum computing technology could be possible as soon as 2026, and that quantum risk assessment and transition planning should be a fundamental part of a company’s cybersecurity strategy. To this end, ISARA provides quantum-resistant algorithms and integration tools – such as its ISARA Radiate Security Solution Suite – to empower organizations to integrate quantum-safe security into their products and networks.

Shasta Ventures Partner Nitin Chopra said quantum computing would force “a wholesale, generational rethinking of how we secure the digital environment.” Chopra praised ISARA not only as “the clear leader” in quantum-safe security solutions, but also as “the only company with commercial solutions that can be implemented today.”

Founded in 2015 and based in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, ISARA Corporation partnered with BlackBerry in October, enabling the handheld device maker to offer a quantum-resistant code signing service to defend against quantum computer-powered attacks. Also this fall, ISARA launched its ISARA Catalyst Agile Digital Certificate Technology. ISARA Catalyst allows multiple cryptographic signature algorithms to be used in a single digital certificate. This lowers redundancy and enables users to switch easily from classical to quantum-safe encryption as circumstances require.