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Exclusive Interview with ISARA’s CEO, Scott Totzke

We have a great speaker lineup for FinDEVr London which will take place on June 12 & 13. As part of our FinDEVr Feature series, which highlights some of the speakers you will see on stage at the event, we recently interviewed the CEO of one of the presenting companies, ISARA. You can save 20% on your FinDEVr ticket when you register with ISARA’s promo code ISARA20LD17.

51388110_scott_ceo_headshot_cropHere’s our interview with Scott Totzke, ISARA’s CEO:


Where did you start your career and how did you gain the experience needed to run the tech side of your company?

Totzke: I started my career 30 years ago in a small agricultural company. The amount of technology and sophisticated data analysis we need to make industries we think of as ‘conventional’ operate is amazing. There is a level of technical sophistication required to ensure that everything gets from the farm to your table properly. We were already dealing with mobility, real-time data updates, and big data analytics before many of these concepts became part of the technical lexicon, and to this day, that grounds my view of how technical change can directly shape the lives of so many people.

When I moved into the mobile communications and cybersecurity fields, that early experience kept me focused on how our technology needs to be impactful but not disruptive. I’ve spent the last 17 years being driven by that mandate, and it’s especially necessary when building security solutions for a wide range of implementations, whether we’re talking about sprawling IT infrastructure or constrained mobile environments. At ISARA, we’ve done our job right when we have delivered transformative cybersecurity technology that is largely transparent to the end user and extremely cost-effective for our customers.

From a technologist’s perspective, what’s unique and game-changing about your technology?

Totzke: Globally, there is a race to develop the next generation of computing and innovation platform-large-scale, ‘universal’ quantum computers. These computers will solve a variety of complex problems that are beyond the capabilities of transistor-based supercomputers. While most of the industry is focused on how quantum computers will accelerate innovation in areas where we are simply unable to focus today, ISARA is looking at the key problem of how quantum computers will be disruptive to the established standards for information security. As an industry, we have relied on RSA-based public key cryptography for 40 years, and that has become a foundation for almost every online transaction. Signing on to check your bank balance, buying something online, getting a software update for your phone – public key cryptography is ubiquitous and we all use it thousands of times a day without thinking about it. We need to preserve this same ubiquitous use of public key cryptography in a post-quantum world so that our information and our customer’s information is properly protected.

ISARA’s focus is on building that next generation of encryption and authentication technology to protect our customers from the quantum threat. So, while billions of dollars are invested in quantum information science to build the next computing platform, we are completely focused on building secure, optimized, high performance solutions that allow the world to benefit from these advancements without being exploited by them. Without quantum-safe security solutions, advancements in quantum technology may present too great a security risk for anyone to benefit from them.

Tell us about your favorite implementation of your solution/technology.

Totzke: One of the benefits of working in such a new field is that much of the work you do on a daily basis is ground-breaking. Early on, we learned that, in order to provide a smooth transition to quantum resistant cryptography for the ICT industry, we needed to solve some very complex migration problems around how we think about and manage digital identities. The first time that we were able to demonstrate a quantum safe browser prototype, a web server that was simultaneously classically safe using current state-of-the-art technology and quantum-safe using our implementation, was eye-opening.

Breakthroughs like that prototype get us closer to providing practical implementations for our customers who need large-scale migration of critical infrastructure without having to move all of their users at once. The ability to create hybrid environments, where they can upgrade servers to quantum-safe technology while supporting quantum-safe clients and legacy clients, is one of those essential building blocks that makes deployment of our solutions as efficient and cost effective as possible for our customers. We solve complex problems in such a way that our customers may not even realize how transformative the solution actually is.


FinDEVr London 2017 is sponsored by TestDevLab.

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