Becrypt and Cyber1st have announced plans to deliver high-grade cryptographic solutions for the UK market. The two companies will collaborate on commercial and technical integration to improve solution delivery and support. This will bring together their R&D capabilities to speed up the development of new cryptographic solutions.
The target market is not commercial organisations. In the joint press release it focuses on solutions for: “government, defence, blue light, and critical infrastructure in the UK and abroad.” This is good news for the UK security sector. UK cyber security companies have been doing well in recent years. They have shown that they are able to compete with the military led funding of cyber security start-ups in Israel, USA, China and Russia. By targeting exports of their solution the two SMEs are signalling that the UK is able to attract and develop a high quality cyber skills workforce.
Will this deliver new cryptographic products?
The press release does not formally announce any products. Instead it focuses on the partnership between the two companies. This is disappointing but not necessarily unexpected. Cyber1st will not want to lose its reputation as an independent cyber security test and validation vendor. This is a market that is growing although it gets little press. As organisations continue to struggle to secure all their data across disparate systems they need standards-based solutions. Delivering those standards and ensuring products meet the standards is where Cyber1st currently markets itself.
The press release includes a quote from Becrypt founder and COO Gary Thomas. He says: “Cyber1st are leveraging their extensive expertise in hardware development and crypt-key to set new standards for high-assurance products. We are excited about the synergy between companies, both from our ability to support customer engagement, as well as the potential for collaboration to leverage our security software capabilities.”
The implication is that the key importance of this partnership to Becrypt is having its products certified and approved by Cyber1st. It is also likely that Becrypt is wanting to get an early heads up on new standards. This will enable them to ensure their next generation of products is standards compliant from the start. With the R&D teams from both organisations working together this would make sense. It should also give Becrypt an opportunity to contribute to new standards.
This is an interesting move for both companies. It allows Cyber1st to move out from the shadows, increase its commercial activity and appeal to new cyber security engineers. It also helps Becrypt as they will give themselves a larger platform to appeal to government and defence organisations.
There is still a lot of clarity needed on exactly what deliverables this deal will create. There is nothing on either organisations website about this deal and the press release, likewise is light on detail. Other cyber security companies who are looking at Cyber1st for verification of their products will be watching this carefully. They will assurance that this won’t impact testing of their own products.
There is another major area of concern for other cyber security vendors. As Becrypt and Cyber1st R&D teams work more closely together, how much influence will Becrypt get on new standards? Just as importantly, will they get early access to standards that will give them a head start when bringing new products to market?