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Westpac boosts information security capabilities with investment in QuintessenceLabs


16 June 2015

Westpac Group today announced it has invested in QuintessenceLabs, a security firm specialising in quantum enhanced cyber security. The Group has taken an 11 per cent stake in the company.

This investment will boost the Group’s security capabilities at a time when cyber security is a major issue facing all organisations. It will also provide Westpac Group with access to a pipeline of innovations being developed by QuintessenceLabs both here in Australia and in the United States.

Quantum cyber security is a powerful new technology that generates high quality ‘keys’, made up of true random numbers, which can be used to strongly encrypt confidential data. These numbers are obtained from measurements of quantum effects on a bright laser beam which by their nature are unpredictable.

Westpac Group will utilise this world-leading technology to boost our security capabilities, as well as cut down the time and costs associated with encrypting confidential data held by the bank.

“Protection of customer information and sensitive commercial data is an industry-wide priority. This investment signals Westpac is stepping up its proactive, strategic approach to building our security capabilities now and in the future,” Westpac Group CIO Dave Curran said.

“As we deliver the bank’s digital transformation it is essential that we maintain the resilience and security of our systems. To do this we need to continually evolve our solutions to help protect our confidential data and we see the relationship with QuintessenceLabs as a significant next step on this journey.

“Westpac customers will benefit from a modern day digital vault protected by world leading security technology.”

Mr Curran said the partnership would provide Westpac Group with valuable insights into the security techniques used in other industries such as aerospace, defence and government organisations also supported by QuintessenceLabs.

QuintessenceLabs Founder and CEO, Dr Vikram Sharma said the company was very pleased to be building a deep partnership with Westpac.
“This is a strong endorsement of our capability to tackle the toughest security issues confronting the finance industry, government and enterprises. We are delighted to be working with the Westpac team to deliver strong security to their customers and partners today and in the future,” Dr Sharma said.

QuintessenceLabs’ Chairman of the Board, Dr Peter Shergold added: “The partnership between QuintessenceLabs and Westpac demonstrates the commitment of both our companies to tackle the most pressing security issues.”

As part of the deal, Westpac Group General Manager Technology and Architecture, Robert Wilson, will be appointed to QuintessenceLabs’ Board of Directors.

Westpac Group also has the option to invest further in QuintessenceLabs to c.16%.  

About QuintessenceLabs

QuintessenceLabs is at the forefront of commercial quantum security technologies, delivering unique high-value cybersecurity capabilities.  These include an advanced interoperable key and policy manager, unbreakable one-time pad encryption for the most sensitive security needs, both underscored by the fastest true random number generator that integrates fundamental breakthroughs in the commercialization of quantum science. QuintessenceLabs has offices in Canberra, Australia and San Jose, United States.

About quantum-derived key protection

All security applications today need random numbers. QuintessenceLabs has harnessed quantum technology to develop one of the fastest ways to generate true random numbers – the strongest numbers to use to encrypt enterprise data.  Coupled with QuintessenceLabs’ interoperable key manager, this enables enterprises to build the most secure foundation for their data protection.

For further information contact:

Keely O’Brien
Westpac Corporate Affairs & Sustainability
T. 02 8254 2679
M. 0403 877 449