The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program has awarded QuSecure a Phase III contract, making the company the sole-source provider of post-quantum cryptography for Federal agencies.

The contract will support QuProtect, the industry’s first end-to-end post-quantum cryptography software-based solution aimed at protecting encrypted communications and data with quantum-resilience and security.

“With this award, the United States Government is once again taking steps to lead the charge in defending against post-quantum threats,” said U.S. Navy (Retired) Rear Admiral Mike Brown, a senior cybersecurity specialist formerly with the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security. “It recognizes QuSecure’s capability and supports scaling post-quantum cryptography commercially, federally, and especially for the warfighter.”

QuSecure has already received SBIR Phase I funding, which goes up to $250,000, and Phase II funding, up to $1.25 million. After a successful QuProtect pilot project at a Federal facility, QuSecure was “immediately awarded” a Phase III contract, according to Pete Ford, QuSecure’s head of Federal operations.

The award comes after President Biden issued an executive order and National Security Memorandum (NSM) in May that elevated the importance of quantum information science.

The NSM aims include collaborating with industry, including through a National Institute of Standards and Technology  (NIST)-sponsored Migration to Post-Quantum Cryptography Project at the National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence, and creating an open working group with industry for research and adoption of quantum-resilient cryptographic standards and technology.

“We are thrilled and proud to be named the Federal government’s first PQC [post-quantum cybersecurity] provider,” Ford said. “These requirements are identified as a near-term need and substantial funding – including from directives such as the Presidential Memorandums and the Endless Frontiers Act – have already been earmarked to begin this work immediately.”

“With QuSecure setting the standard for Federal PQC requirements, this will provide security and privacy uniformity across all industries involved in digital data transaction and storage, driving post-quantum safety for our nation’s infrastructure and defense capabilities,” he added.

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Grace Dille
Grace Dille
Grace Dille is MeriTalk's Assistant Managing Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.