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Quantum resistant tech wins big at ARM TechCon

Security was one of the biggest topics at the 2017 ARM TechCon, with SecureRF receiving the top award for what it claims are its quantum-resistant security tools.

At the conference, the company bagged the award for “Best Contribution to IoT Security” for its security solutions, intended for connected technologies.

The company, which competed alongside a number of strong finalists, was recognised for its public-key encryption solutions: Ironwood Key Agreement Protocol and Walnut Digital Signature Algorithm.

These products, the Shelton, Connecticut-based company claims, offer future-proof authentication and data protection for low-resource devices. 

According to SecureRF, many IoT devices today are running on old 8-, 16- and 32-bit processors, and lack the computing and memory resources required to support modern security methods.

Engineers building solutions are also struggling to address the threat of quantum computer attacks, which can kill widely known legacy cryptographic protocols, such as ECC and RSA.

SecureRF is addressing these problems with solutions that can scale and work in devices with limited computational resources.

The firm’s flagship solutions, available in hardware and software implementations, are 60 times faster than ECC, it claims, and consume around 140 times less energy and avoid the need for a key database.

SecureRF’s solutions give engineers using the smallest ARM Cortex-M series processors the ability to secure their IoT products quickly and easily.

Although the company is competing in a somewhat crowded market, its public-key solutions and digital signature algorithms are potentially transformative – catering for wireless sensors, NFC, RFID tags and Bluetooth.

Its products are based on an “algorithmically efficient, one-way function” called E-Multiplication. This algorithm, the company argues, is “computationally hard” to reverse, but is still “rapidly computable”.

The technology is behind cryptographic constructions, such as public key agreement and secret key methods, a digital signature method, a cryptographic hash method and a pseudo-random number generator.


Other finalists included CENTRI Technology, which showed off an IoT-AS solution for device authentication and data protection, and Orbbec, which demonstrated a new hardware platform.

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