Data Network Security: Look How Far We’ve Come, and Still Have to Go

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Back in October 1969, the first message – a “node-to-node” communication – was delivered from one computer to another. Over 50 years later, networks have come a long way, evolving to support the Internet we know today.

Modern networks have the power to bring people, enterprises, and nations together. But if they’re breached or compromised, the results can be grave.

Meanwhile, cybercrime continues unabated. Hardly a week passes without a high-profile attack making news headlines. Billions of dollars are lost or stolen every year.

Rather than putting the brakes on cybercrime, the pandemic only served to fuel it. Many attacks were directly related to lockdown-induced work-from-home arrangements and hybrid workplaces. As businesses accelerated the use of client portals and mobile and web applications, their risk of attack and network compromise increased.

The dire side-effects of such incidents played out in incalculable damage to brands and the erosion of public trust, not to mention financial loss. IBM’s Cost of a Data Breach Report recently found that the average total cost of a data breach is $3.86 million and moving in an upward trend.

The message couldn’t be clearer: Businesses must explore every available avenue to better secure their networks.

Let’s explore the approaches, tools, and tactics available to organizations to harden their cyber defenses – and why the stakes are getting higher than ever before.

Zero Trust Meets SASE

In our modern digital business environment, ensuring robust data network security is made more challenging by the fluid and hybrid nature of our systems. Data exists in a blend of on-premise infrastructure, in the cloud, and anywhere in between at any point in time.

It’s no longer easy to define precisely what’s “inside” or “outside” your network. To use an analogy: in the past, a business could seclude and defend its sensitive and confidential data by building an impenetrable “fortress” (the corporate perimeter) surrounded by an untraversable “moat” (firewalls and other physical security protocols.)

Today, these defined corporate perimeters or “fortresses” have given way to dynamic environments. Networks now operate more like busy airports or train stations at peak hour.

Trying to protect and defend your data from attack using a static “moat” is an approach that’s no longer fit-for-purpose.

This is where the thoughtful unification and application of two modern security principles –SASE and zero trust – becomes the sensible choice.

Zero Trust

Zero trust operates on the assumption that you “don’t trust anybody,” and they’ll only be granted access to your network and the data residing within it once they’ve proven that they’re authorized to do so. Users and devices need to pass rigorous identity verification and access management tests to be afforded this trust.


SASE (Secure Access Service Edge) is an approach that unites comprehensive WAN capabilities along with advanced network security functions to support organizations’ dynamic secure access needs. It’s effective in protecting cloud services, networks, and the data and apps that run over them – from the corporate headquarters to the users at home to the edge (including sensors and IoT devices in manufacturing facilities and smart buildings, for example.)

When SASE meets zero-trust, businesses have a far better chance of fending off unauthorized attempts to access their data and other assets, irrespective of the configuration or design of their network architecture.

This is what enterprises need at the very least in a world where cybercriminals are swiftly side-stepping multiple authentication layers.

But there’s more…

Solving the Password Problem

There’s one more issue that needs to be addressed: the password and credentials conundrum.

Today, too many traditional authentication and authorization approaches still use and depend on passwords and user credentials.

These can be lost or stolen or shared and reused, which renders them unsound and unreliable mechanisms on which to base identity and access management.

Most security breaches result from compromised credentials. Remember the May 2021 ransomware attack against the Colonial Pipeline, which significantly impacted the flow of refined oil across the country? Hackers breached Colonial’s systems using a single compromised password. This allowed them to enter the company’s networks through a virtual private network (VPN) account.

As soon as cybercriminals have accessed credentials and passwords, they can use them to skip through authentication steps. Worse still, their presence often goes undetected for months, during which time they’ve had the opportunity to cause untold damage or loss.

Passwordless authentication and authorization allow businesses to bypass these issues. They pave the way for secure logins without the need to secure user passwords, thanks to their use of advanced encryption algorithms.

Data Network Security: Where to Next?

With so many devices connecting and communicating with one another over wired, wireless, and cellular networks, effective data network security isn’t a nice-to-have; it’s imperative.

It’s worth noting that responsible and future-looking businesses recognize that even today’s more modern data network security and authentication systems that use encryption algorithms (rather than passwords) have a limited ability to defend against the next data network security specter looming large on the horizon – the quantum security threat.

Quantum computers can process information at speeds exponentially faster than classical computers. But the downside is that this also gives them the power to potentially crack existing encryption algorithms that protect so much of the world’s Internet-based data.

At some point, better and more complex algorithms simply won’t be enough. Quantum computing is changing the rules of the cybersecurity game. We need to change with it or risk getting blown away.

Industry and Government are not sitting idly by. NIST in the USA has been spearheading an open program to identify and develop new approaches that will help form basis of network security in the years ahead.  The current efforts around Post Quantum Cryptography can be found here.

Quantropi is bound to be the standard for next-generation cybersecurity – true quantum safety you can count on today, and Perfect Secrecy you can trust forever, no matter what the future network or threat.

Our patented technology expresses quantum mechanics algorithmically to encrypt data in transit – without requiring the processing power of a quantum computer. This unique capability makes ours the first company in the world to offer true, secure transport of quantum keys over today’s Internet, allowing users to exchange quantum-encrypted data using their own existing platforms.

Schedule an appointment with one of our specialists today!

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Marco Pagani

Marco Pagani began his long and successful career as a senior executive in Ottawa’s high-tech sector in 1985, with Nortel Networks (then Bell-Northern Research). He rose across two decades to become president of several Nortel Business Units, managing more than 2,000 employees and over $1 billion in revenue. Having gone on to advise numerous organizations, as well as guide a range of companies through complex, critically necessary turnarounds, he is particularly respected for placing a strong emphasis on ethics and corporate governance in building the culture of the corporate and not-for-profit organizations he leads and supports.

Nick Kuang

As VP Corporate Services, Nick plans, directs and coordinates a wide range of activities aimed at achieving Quantropi’s vision of the Quantum Internet. He has a keen interest in transformative technologies and the possibilities they offer for bettering our everyday lives. A pharmacist by training, Nick nurtures teams with a focus on integrity and collaborative effort, coupled with strong attention to detail. With prior experience in a successful biotech start-up developing point-of-care test kits, he enjoys the fast pace and challenge of the start-up environment.

Dr. Randy Kuang

Randy holds a doctorate in quantum physics. His research findings have been published in top international journals and named “Kuang’s semi-classical formalism” by NASA in 2012. With a career spanning IT, including with Nortel as senior network researcher & developer, he co-founded inBay Technologies in 2009, serving as CTO of the cybersecurity platform. As the first recipient of a patent for two-level authentication (2011), Randy is a prolific inventor, with 30+ U.S. patents in broad technology fields, such as WiMAX, optical networks, multi-factor identity authentication, transaction authorization, as well as concepts, technologies and industrial applications for quantum key distribution.

Cory Michalyshyn

Cory brings a breadth of experience to the Quantropi team, working fractionally with multiple SaaS technology companies as CFO, and as the CFO with Celtic House Venture Partners. Prior to these roles, Cory was CFO and COO at Solink, and played a lead role in the metrics-led pivot to a direct-sales SaaS model, followed by multiple VC-backed funding rounds and their recognition as one of the fastest growing start-ups in Canada. He qualified as a CPA while serving technology, VC & PE-fund clients at Deloitte, and earned his Bachelor of Commerce at Queen’s University.

Ken Dobell

Ken leads marketing strategy at Quantropi. In high demand as a consultant with 25 years’ experience in performance media and an award- winning creative background, he has completed successful transformations, (re)branding and product development mandates with KPMG, Keurig, Fidelity, Eddyfi, Coveo, and more, and provides digital advice to the CMA. Previously, Ken pivoted an offline advertising brokerage to a leading-edge, data-driven performance agency as President of DAC Digital, held a progression of international leadership roles with, pioneered a range of multi-channel initiatives as VP Marketing with a global franchisor, and introduced a mobile-first programmatic media offering to Canada within WPP.

Raj Narula, P.Eng.

A seasoned technology executive, business builder and angel investor, Raj has held operational and advisory roles in Recognia (Trading Central), Belair Networks (Ericsson), March Networks (Infinova), Sandvine (Procera), Neurolanguage (ADEC), Bridgewater Systems (Amdocs), Vayyoo (Cafex), TenXc (CCI), 1Mobility (Qualys) and others. Having divided his time among North America, EMEA and Asia-Pac for over 20 years, Raj speaks several languages. He grew up in Asia, Europe, South America and Canada, and holds a B.Eng degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Ottawa. He is also a co-founder and Charter Member of the Ottawa chapter of TiE (the Indus Entrepreneur).

Michael Redding

Before joining Quantropi, Mike was Managing Director and co-founder of Accenture Ventures, where he grew a global portfolio of strategic partnerships and 38 equity investments in emerging technology startups.

During his nearly 30 years with Accenture, he incubated and launched technology innovations for enterprises across multiple geographies and industries. Ever-passionate about bold ideas with game-changing results, he speaks frequently on the impact of emerging technology on large organizations.

With a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from Princeton, and a Master’s in Biomedical Engineering from Northwestern, Mike is a former member of the Board of Directors for the Accenture Foundation and Board Observer for startups Maana and Splice Machine.

Alex He

Alex is a product-oriented project manager who bridges the gaps between the company’s engineering and commercial teams. He has over ten years of experience in the analysis, design and development of enterprise-class applications, with a particular focus on creating optimal user experiences (UX). Ever passionate about cybersecurity solutions that can deliver solid security without unreasonably sacrificing customer convenience, Alex is the lead inventor of a registered patent on user interface security. He is committed to helping ensure that the Agile software engineering team at Quantropi delivers consistently high-quality, high crypto-agility cybersecurity solutions for next-generation communications.

Tina Wang

Tina develops websites and participates in a range of different projects, using new frameworks for front-end UI, along with Vuejs, Angula, Beego, Ruby on Rails, and Electron. She developed Quantropi’s desktop CipherSpace application by integrating Electron, Webassembly and Go, to ensure a good user experience, as well as perfect operating system compatibility. She is also part of the dynamic and efficient QKD-NODE project team. Tina is always looking for new ways to increase her knowledge, improve her technological proficiency and enhance her strong execution and implementation skills. Prior to Quantropi, Tina served as a full-stack web developer at Sunny Future, where she maintained a WordPress home site and managed the release of new content for the company.

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Bond Vo

Bond Vo is the Business Analyst of Quantropi. Along with Quantropi, Bond has been dynamic in accordance with a fast and evolving startup environment and is responsible in a wide range of areas including market research, funding, and more involved in the controller roles to oversee day to day accounting operation as well as build financing models and budget to achieve company’s ultimate goals/objectives. Bond has applied best practices consistently and successfully supports equity, debt, and non-dilutive funding for Quantropi since joint the team. He earned a Bachelor of Commerce concentrated in Finance from Carleton University. Outside of his professional career, Bond also participated in volunteer for the Vietnamese Immigration Student Association (VISA) to help and support students as well as newcomers in Canada.

Pauline Arnold

As James Nguyen’s EA, Pauline Arnold brings more than 40 years of experience in complementary customer service and administrative roles. Prior to Quantropi, she served 20 years as Branch Manager and an assistant in investments, and over 20 years at Metropolitan Life Canada in various aspects of the insurance sector – assisting clients, management and colleagues to complete tasks, solve problems, address questions and achieve goals. She also worked part-time for Royal Lepage Performance for 5+ years as a receptionist & admin, and for 5 years was chair of the TKFG’s charity golf tournament.

Dafu Lou

Dafu is Quantropi’s Director of engineering. Prior to Quantropi, he served as a technical leader at Irdeto, a world-leading provider of digital platform security software, where he was responsible for white-box cryptography, cloaked CA secure core, and iOS/android application protection services, among others. Prior to Irdeto, Dafu served as a senior software engineer at SecureNex Systems, where he led the implementation of an SSL-VPN solution and ECC-based secure data storage & PKI. He earned his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Ottawa in 2009. Dafu is also a part-time professor, teaching VLSI, Cryptography and other subjects at uOttawa.

Christopher McKenzie

With his extensive experience in software development and strong analytical skills, Chris can handle the entire end-to-end software development life cycle. Prior to Quantropi, he served as Director of Product Development at Sphyrna Security, Inc., where he managed the delivery of security compliance automation and data diode appliance products, and as Commercial Software Development Manager at Cord3, Inc., where he managed the development of an advanced data access policy management product. Chris graduated from Computer Science at Algonquin College and the Ottawa School of Arts in 1998. Read less

Eric Chan

Eric Chan a.k.a. EEPMON is a Crypto / Digital Artist with 15 years in the industry – and Quantropi’s Creative Emissary. His hybrid fractal/digital creations have been seen in fashion, comics to museums and has exhibited worldwide. EEPMON’s collaborations include Canada Goose, MARVEL, Snoopy, Microsoft Xbox, Canada Science & Technology Museum and was a TEDx performing artist. In 2018 he represented Canada on its first Creative Industries Trade Mission led by Canada’s Minister of Heritage and serves on the Canadian Museums Association‘s Board of Directors. At the same time, he is currently completing his Master of Information Technology – Digital Media at Carleton University. 

Patricio Mariaca

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James Nguyen

Prior to leading Quantropi, James was Chief Investment Officer & VP Asia Operations for a group of private and public real estate, mining, energy storage, graphene technologies and manufacturing interests, where, in his responsibilities for strategy, banking and global expansions, he secured large-scale investments and partnerships for commercializing graphene applications across multiple industries. A graduate of Carleton in Economics, he previously achieved success managing a mid-market portfolio (professional services, public sector, Asian markets) at RBC for over a decade. James has been on the HKCBA board, held advisory positions with technology start-ups and gives back as volunteer, fundraiser and mentor.