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UK government takes to Arqit Quantum to shield its secrets

Stuart McKean Nine23.jpg

A company with a close relationship with UK security agencies is to provide secure cloud services in association with Arqit Quantum.

UK-based, US-funded Arqit will supply its QuantumCloud symmetric key agreement software to security specialist Nine23 for its UK sovereign secure private cloud infrastructure.

Stuart McKean (pictured), Nine23 CEO, said: “We are delighted to choose Arqit to work with Nine23. Arqit is renowned as one of the most innovative UK companies in the market providing us with the technology to accelerate stronger, simpler encryption via our Platform Flex.”

Nine23 said its proprietary Platform Flex “provides a multi-private cloud environment with direct network gateway connectivity to all UK government networks”.

It added: “The proven, accredited platform offers data residency and solution integration that can be used for official-sensitive and higher classifications.”

Nine23 cites existing user cases with the UK’s Ministry of Defence, the College of Policing, the Treasury and other public organisations. “All our staff are vetted and have full security clearance,” says the company.

McKean set up Nine23 in 2011 after 23 years in the military to provide better IT services. The company is chaired by Ed Jesson, a former US army officer.

Nine23 provides its customers with access to G-Cloud, the UK government’s secure cloud service. G-Cloud is currently on version 12, but is due to be upgraded to version 13 in November.

Arqit and Nine23 said they will “work together to address government and defence customers looking to improve the security of their infrastructure against cyberattacks, remove the vulnerabilities associated with legacy encryption method public key infrastructure (PKI) and prevent data security threats posed by quantum computers”.

David Williams, Arqit founder, chairman and CEO, said: “We are pleased to work with Nine23 to deliver our product to classified UK government projects. We believe that sovereign cloud services have high growth potential and Nine23 has done a great job to become firmly established with existing security cleared contract frameworks through which Arqit is able to gain fast track market access to this government business.”