Home Alphabet spinoff raises $500M for cyber security

Alphabet spinoff raises $500M for cyber security

Feb 15 – On Tuesday, Sandbox AQ, a startup spun off from Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O), said that it raised $500 million to help customers prepare for a quantum computing future.

Quantum computers run on processors that can make calculations millions of times more quickly than today’s fastest supercomputers. However, they remain years away from leading to major changes, such as breaking encryption.

However, hackers can harvest data today and wait to decrypt it when the quantum computers are ready, says the National Institute of Standards and Technology under the U.S. Commerce Department.

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The U.S. government has set quantum computing as a key technology related to national security.

Sandbox AQ’s software scans companies systems to determine which elements use older cryptography techniques, where replacements that need to be made, and to fortify the encryption enterprise.

CEO Jack Hidary

Says Sandbox AQ CEO Jack Hidary, “Right now you have a lot of banks and pharma companies and governments still using these old protocols…The average bank takes five to seven years to migrate over…”

Sandbox also offers a line of simulation software products designed to accelerate the development of drugs and materials.

At present, the simulation does not need quantum computers in order to work. In the past 18 months, chips that do artificial intelligence work have become powerful enough to run some of the math for quantum physics. As quantum computers emerge, they will further speed up the work.

Sandbox AQ sensors

Sandbox AQ is also developing sensors based on quantum physics. Such sensors have long been in MRI machines, for instance. Sandbox has developed a prototype machine to monitor the heart. In addition, the machine can also be used to monitor slight local changes in the earth’s magnetic field.

Last month, Sandbox AQ won a contract with the U.S. Air Force to research quantum navigation technologies.

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