Entrevista de Rosalia Arroyo

“With the incursion of 5G technology and IoT Utimaco is very aware of where it wants to grow”

A year ago it was announced that Realsec, a Spanish IT security company and supplier of Hardware Security Modules (HSM), had been acquired by Utimaco, which with the acquisition expanded its presence in Spain and Mexico. Earlier this year, Pablo Juan Mejía was appointed as the new General Manager of the Spanish and Mexican subsidiaries, which retain the name Realsec by Utimaco due to the enormous brand recognition of the Spanish company.

Owned by STG Capital since August last year, just a few months after the purchase of Realsec, Utimaco does not provide business figures. We keep asking what growth the company is having in our country after the purchase of Realsec, which closed 2020, the pandemic year, with a growth of 27%. Pablo Juan tell us that growth is not only expected in sales, where double-digit growth is expected, but in resources, especially in the support area. “We are going to be very ambitious, but also very cautious,” says the manager, pointing to the current uncertainty moment where, however, “there are many opportunities in the cybersecurity area”. Research and development, imbued in Realsec’s DNA and therefore with a strong presence in our country, is reinforced with the purchase of Utimaco, “which sees a development opportunity in the products they have in Germany and which, with Realsec’s know-how, they want to strengthen”, explains Pablo Juan. PKI, Public Key Infrastructure, is what will pull the accounts of Realsec by Utimaco once the integration of both companies is completed. The purpose of a PKI is to facilitate the secure electronic transfer of information for various network activities, such as e-commerce, Internet banking and confidential e-mail. “At PKI we see good opportunities with technology giants that are looking for more specific solutions to attend different markets,” explains the executive adding that with the incursion of 5G technology and the internet of things “Utimaco is very aware of where it wants to grow. Utimaco is the leader in the data protection sector and we see tremendous potential in the IoT.” Pablo Juan adds that in the Internet of Things world it is necessary to take into account where that data is, where it travels and how it is protected, something that is not a concern “until incidents start to occur due to the misuse of that information and how these devices are being protected”. He mentions that technology giants offer connected products and are experts in technology, but not so much in security “and that’s where we focus”; a focus that is also put on smart cities or cars, machines with more and more sensors and connected devices.

Blockchain

In May 2020 Realsec signed an agreement with Cysec, a Swiss company, to improve the security of blockchain environments. What is Utimaco’s current focus on this technology? “The commitment to blockchain continues,” says Pablo Juan. He explains that through both Utimaco and Realsec there are specific products to serve this market segment and the agreement with Cysec continues with a next generation of services that it wants to offer to the market. In addition, there is also contact with other companies interested in offering blockchain solutions. On whether blockchain will definitely expand or will only be associated with certain projects or use cases, Pablo Juan believes that it certainly offers many advantages and that today anyone can use a blockchain at a relatively low cost, “so I think blockchain will be very open to use by any company to track their products, a transaction, etc. But when highly specialized services are needed, they will contact certain companies and suppliers”. The Realsec by Utimaco manager also assures that, looking ahead, it will be a blockchain that will be strengthened by certificates, “and behind the certificates is PKI, so that is where the integration with the identity of the people is, which is where Utimaco is present. When you sign, you are going to sign with your certificate, and that certificate was generated and depends on a certifying entity. When you use a device or make a transaction, blockchain may or may not be included, but it has to be signed”.

“One of the strongest growths the company is having is precisely in HSM in the cloud”

 “Utimaco has a very strong R&D Center in Germany and has developed an HSM ready for the post-quantum era”

“At PKI we see good opportunities with technology giants that are looking for more specific solutions to attend different markets.”

Quantum encryption and HSM in the cloud

A mandatory question for any company involved in encryption is related to quantum computing, which will be able to break current encryption. How does Realsec by Utimaco face this future challenge? Pablo Juan assures that precisely one of the advantages of the integration of Realsec and Utimaco has to do with this issue. “Utimaco has a very powerful R&D Center in Germany and has developed an HSM ready for the post-quantum era.” He adds that the company has a lot of information, including a basic guide, Post-Quantum Crypto for Dummies, on the topic and how Utimaco’s systems are adapted to be able to protect customers from quantum attacks; “even Utimaco has a quantum simulator that includes the necessary algorithms so that interested companies can test and see how it will work and where the quantum era system is going.” HSM’s cloud-based approach is already a reality at Realsec by Utimaco. “We have the most powerful solution that exists in the cloud,” says its director, explaining that the offer is ready through MYHSM, a company that Utimaco acquired in January 2021; “one of the strongest growth that the company is having is precisely in HSM in the cloud,” says Pablo Juan, who explains that it is “a financial HSM that provides all the security in certifications, for example, in a PCI environment. Banks or Fintechs that do not have their own infrastructure or want to migrate part of their infrastructure can now use MYHSM”.

Channel

The channel is one of the parts of a company’s ecosystem that is most affected by an acquisition. New opportunities open up on both sides, but there is an integration and training process that should not be neglected so that there is no negative impact on customers. Pablo Juan tells us that “internal training, both at Realsec to learn about the rest of Utimaco’s products, and at Utimaco to become familiar with Realsec’s products, is in process”, and that the channel has taken the purchase very well, which it sees as “an opportunity to extend the services they can offer to Utimaco’s products, for example in cloud environments, a strengthened PKI and a much more powerful cybersecurity”, while Utimaco’s channels see a local strengthening of the brand, Realsec’s know-how “and above all the language, since here it is direct support from the manufacturer and in Spanish, and that is something they also appreciate”.

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