Techopia Live: Ottawa-based Crypto4A securing for the internet of tomorrow

Strapped with government funding, Ottawa’s Crypto4A dropped by Techopia Live this week to talk about what exactly cryptography means for the future of the internet and cybersecurity.

OK, maybe president Bruno Couillard wasn’t literally waving around stacks of bills, but he was just as chuffed to have the governments of Quebec and Canada providing his firm with a series of grants to the tune of $500,000.

“We received this funding so we could push forward our company and our idea,” Couillard told Techopia Live.

That idea revolves largely around cryptography, which Couillard called the “foundational element” for securing information from cyber attacks. Crytpo4A develops hardware that other firms can build their cybersecurity products on.

Take their Ottawa-based partner Bluink, for example, which develops a mobile electronic ID currently being piloted by the Ontario government. Crypto4A’s hardware is a key part of what allows Bluink to deploy its solution in a cost-effective but secure manner.

Hosting and deploying sensitive software like Bluink’s usually requires access to a locked-door data centre, but the advantage of Crypto4A’s security processing application is the ability for partners to sell their own products to customers without the need for bulky, expensive on-premise hosting.

“What we’re doing is basically wrapping these applications in a very secure shell. Sometimes I refer to it as a mini data centre in a box,” Couillard says. “We’re able to pack all of the security you’d find in a regular data centre in a single appliance.”

Meanwhile, Crypto4A is following two very key trends in the digital world today. One is the smart-ification of everything from our cities to our cars to our coffee cups, a process that will have us relying even more on the internet for not only our security, but our safety. With everything connected to the internet, users need to know an elevator will take them to the right floor and a car won’t drive into oncoming traffic.

On the other hand, there’s the rise of quantum computing. Current cryptographic algorithms will be disrupted by the coming quantum advances, Couillard says, and the cybersecurity industry will need providers that can cross the chasm of pre- and post-quantum computing. That’s an opportunity Crypto4A hopes to seize.

“We’re hoping to ... start to shift into this next phase of growth that the internet is going to bring to us. That’s our goal.”

Watch the video above to hear more about how Crypto4A is taking advantage of Ottawa’s cyber and networking community.