QuSecure says U.S government agencies are moving faster on PQC
U.S. government actions such as the Endless Frontiers Act and the Quantum Cybersecurity Preparedness Act, in addition to numerous motivating statements made by the Biden White House, the National Security Agency, and others have started to help ramp up activity by government agencies to adopt post-quantum cybersecurity measures, according to PQC company QuSecure.
“Government agencies are absolutely moving faster now and prioritizing cybersecurity modernization, including PQC,” said Patrick Shore, Program Manager, QuSecure. “There is growing awareness of the quantum threat and PQC solutions across the federal government, as well as an increased sense of urgency to migrate to PQC due to federal mandates.”
Shore’s comments came after QuSecure, which already has had some success winning PQC contracts from government and military agencies, this week secured another one, this time with the Department of the Air Force (DAF) and AFWERX, the department’s innovation arm and a directorate within the Air Force Research Laboratory.
The award is a Phase 1 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract under which the Air Force will use QuSecure’s QuProtect quantum encryption software.
“The SBIR program is a great way for government organizations to invest in, experiment with, and eventually procure PQC solutions,” Shore said. “As a small business, QuSecure benefits greatly from the SBIR program, which allows us to connect with customers across the federal government and gives us an avenue to scale our solution with the government.”
QuSecure’s Air Force SBIR contract award follows similar SBIR contract awards the company earned from the U.S. Army last year, and from the U.S. Government in 2022. The first of those was a Phase II contract, and the second was a Phase III.
Explaining how the different phase contracts work, Shore said, “SBIR contracts vary in length depending on the ‘Phase’ of the contract and the specific topic. Phase I SBIRs typically range between 90 days and six months, Phase II SBIRs are typically no longer than 24 months, and Phase III SBIRs have no set duration, and the period of performance is at the discretion of the contracting officer based on the specifics of the contract. Upon successful completion of this Phase I SBIR, QuSecure will be eligible to propose for Phase II SBIR with the DAF.”
QuSecure also previously earned contracts with the Air Force, including a Phase I SBIR in 2019 via AFWERX and a Phase III SBIR in 2022 with the 611th Air Operations Center (NORAD/NORTHCOM). “This is the first time we have engaged with Air Force Global Strike Command (AFGSC), who signed a Letter of Support for this Phase I SBIR proposal,” Shore said.
QuSecure also noted that the Air Force Research Laboratory and AFWERX have partnered to streamline the SBIR and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) process by accelerating the small business experience through faster proposal to award timelines, changing the pool of potential applicants by expanding opportunities to small business, and eliminating bureaucratic overhead by continually implementing process improvement changes in contract execution.
Dan O’Shea has covered telecommunications and related topics including semiconductors, sensors, retail systems, digital payments and quantum computing/technology for over 25 years.