Rachid El Bansarkhani has founded QuantiCor, the winner of the Accenture Innovation Award in the Security category. “It seems self-evident that everything on the internet is secured. But it is not, and that also applies to the Internet of Things. In the coming five years, the number of IoT devices will grow by 400 percent.”
Rachid: “QuantiCor provides security solutions for IoT. With our solution, we prevent the theft and violation of private information. As on the internet, IoT devices exchange sensitive data, but only between devices. The last thing you want is that someone else gains control of your security cameras, machines in your production department or access to your company, home or car. QuantiCor contributes to a secure society and economy.”
Why is QuantiCor needed?
“Companies are excessively dependent on security systems that ensure authentication and confidentiality, for example for online banking or online shopping. QuantiCor realizes that IoT too becomes more susceptible to quantum computer attacks. In these attacks, the attacker eavesdrops confidential data or manipulates it without the receiver’s notice and pretends to be a different sender. Think about forged signatures, for example.”
What problem do you solve with QuantiCor?
“QuantiCor provides quantum computer resistant solutions for IoT. Security certificates of each IoT device have to be revised and maintained periodically, which is expensive, complex and inefficient. QuantiCor solves this problem with a simple IT infrastructure without the need of certificates. In this way, new devices can easily be deployed in dynamic IoT networks. That’s how we allow IoT to grow securely. Our solution is suitable to quickly and smoothly secure data of millions of devices.”
Could you give an example?
“Connected cars share data with other devices through internet access. The car’s ease of use has increased with Wi-Fi, streaming radio and remote-control mobile phone applications. QuantiCor eliminates the new risks that arise because of possibly ill-intentioned people.”
How did the idea arise?
“I have always wanted to come up with new ideas to make a change. During my PhD about post-quantum cryptography and my postdoc, I worked together with a lot of companies, such as Intel, and guided many projects. That is when I discovered that the demand for security and my dream to one day start a company could converge.”
How does QuantiCor stand out from competitors?
“IoT is growing, devices become more advanced – but security systems seem to have come to a standstill. We already anticipate the next generation of cyberattacks. We also eliminate the fixed costs. The communication with certificates requires a lot of computation power, random-access memory (RAM) and energy. Downloading and approving certificates puts a lot of pressure on battery life as well as authentication and encryption of the exchanged data. All of this is eliminated with QuantiCor.”
When did you know QuantiCor was viable?
“After my work at Intel in the US, where I worked with kind and motivated colleagues. After completing various projects, I was confident to start something innovative in the field of Post-Quantum Security. So, I gathered all my knowledge to start a business. For me, it has always been a constant process.”
Why did you decide to participate in the AIA18?
“For me, the award is a quality label and that is why we are so thrilled to have won. From the first contact onwards, I was impressed by the professionalism of the AIA. On the one hand, the award means that what we are doing is good and valuable. On the other hand, it means that what we are doing can actually be put into practice.”
What was your main take-away from the AIA?
“I have a technical background and our product is complex. For me, it was valuable to learn how to explain our concept in a simple way and in just a few words.”
What was the decisive factor for the jury to announce QuantiCor as the winner?
“I have experienced the jury as a group of renowned experts that truly looked at our product and the company behind it. They believe our innovation makes an impact and that we are capable of disrupting the market with a successful solution for a relatively new problem. This judgement provides us with great feedback to grow further in the right direction.”
What trends do you foresee in QuantiCor’s market in the coming years?
“The ever-increasing pace at which the world is digitalizing. In the coming five years, the number of IoT devices grows by 400 percent. I expect that companies will market numerous products that are nicer, more efficient and cheaper – but not necessarily more secure. This could jeopardize privacy. With QuantiCor’s simple and broadly applicable IT infrastructure we offer a large part of the solution.”
What is your golden tip for innovators?
“Understand how technology can improve our way of living. And ensure a change that is valuable for the company as well as the society.”
*) QuantiCor is the winner of the Accenture Innovation Awards 2018 in the theme Security.