New encryption service from Sweloq makes real-time communication impossible to crack
It’s easy to communicate these days. No matter where we are in the world, we can call, email or send messages to one another. Thanks to advances in technology and development, means of communicating just keep getting simpler and smoother. But there’s a downside – the monitoring and interception of sensitive information. Sweloq and Semcon joined forces to create a multi-factor key management solution, which ensures that real-time communication, among journalists for example, can’t be intercepted by unauthorised people.
Most apps and services used today are relatively easy to hack, even when they’re encrypted. That’s because encryption is located in the software of a smartphone or computer. Sweloq's service uses a separate physical unit for encryption purposes, which can be built into the likes of a computer. This makes the encrypted data practically impossible to crack.
The challenge with Sweloq's solution, however, has been to encrypt real-time communication fast enough. This has been solved together with Semcon engineers – the result is an encryption speed of 500 MB per second with a 1.5 GHz processor. To put it in context, that corresponds to 250,000 pages (with around 2,000 characters per page) per second.
“This is a unique solution because it is so secure, while being fast enough to be used on very large amounts of data in real time. We at Semcon are proud to have contributed to such an advanced project. It has meant that we – in line with our way of working - have brought in our varied expertise,” says Johan Kristensson, Semcon’s Team Manager, Software & Emerging Tech.
Boosted security for both journalists and business
With the solution, the user's communication goes via Sweloq's device, which encrypts the data being sent. The information is then forwarded to the recipient over the internet, to be decrypted in their identical device. The technology works for real-time communication, both voice and video calls as well as documents. “The numerous functions and scalability of our product make it possible for government agencies, companies and journalists, among others, to achieve a high degree of security when they communicate,” says Roy Martinsson, one of Sweloq’s founders.
High-level security is important for journalists who work in countries where wiretapping is common and dangerous if sensitive communication is hacked. Industrial espionage and technology theft are also increasingly common, which is why several companies have shown interest in Sweloq's signal-safe product. Many such cases do not reach the public domain because companies and organisations don’t want the market to know they have been affected.
Prototype built – product testing from a distance
“Hardly any comparable services exist today,” Martinsson adds. “The Blackberry is an example of a secure communication device, but it’s expensive and can’t be built into a computer. The need to protect communications will increase and we offer a secure, flexible service that is also easy to use.”
Hardly any comparable services exist today.
Semcon has supported Sweloq with expertise in software and hardware development as well as design. The goal has been to speedily develop a prototype to demonstrate the technology to potential customers.
“It was an easy choice to partner with Semcon, given their technicians, designers and programmers have the experience and knowledge required. What’s more, they have a process that has enabled us to get the ball rolling and rapidly move forward. We were able to test a demo unit in a very short time and thanks to our collaboration we can reach the market quickly,” says Martinsson.
“We are planning a product test that will be conducted from Semcon's office in Sweden to Semcon’s office in Brazil,” explains Kristensson. “We need to test with large amounts of data over long distances, because distance increases the risk of disturbances and problems.”