Westpac Invests In Cyber Security Firm QuintessenceLabs

Australian bank Westpac has acquired an 11% stake in Canberra-based cybersecurity firm QuintessenceLabs.

Central to QuintessenceLabs’ solutions is a powerful new technology delivering the most secure cryptographic keys using quantum-derived true random numbers. This strengthens the encryption of confidential data, protecting it from the vulnerabilities of deterministic random numbers.

The clients of QuintessenceLabs include data-sensitive industries such as aerospace, defence, and government organisations. In early 2014 the Australian Information Industry Association named QuintessenceLabs as Australia’s most innovative small company.

In making the investment, Westpac says it wants to learn from QuintessenceLabs experience with other industries and expose the tech team to the skill-sets of their engineers. The bank will initially use the technology internally to boost security of employee desktops and devices and explore its use in protecting customer data.

Westpac group CIO David Curran says: "As we deliver the bank's digital transformation, it is essential that we maintain the resilience and security of our systems. To do this, we need to continually evolve our solutions to help protect our confidential data, and we see the relationship with QuintessenceLabs as a significant next step on this journey."

As part of the deal, Westpac general manager of technology and architecture Robert Wilson will take a seat on the board at QuintessenceLabs.

The cost of the investment has not been disclosed. Westpac has an option to increase its stake to 16%.

 

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