pablo juan mejía

“The move from traditional cryptography to protection with post-quantum algorithms takes time” (Utimaco)

2023 opens with the launch of Tai Ciberseguridad, a new reference medium for this sector, aimed at Spanish-speaking professionals and whose project, launched by Rosalía Arroyo, a relevant journalist from the security sector in Spain, is presented with this video interview with the director from Utimaco Spain and Latin America, Pablo Juan Mejía.

Safety in the connected car, the Internet of Things and 5G, the quantum car, post-quantum computing (PQC) and the importance of privacy in these technologies are some of the elements that you can see in this interview (in Spanish)

Overclocking, the practice of boosting computer performance by forcing its CPU or GPU, is coming to connected cars

Pablo Juan Mejía is the General Manager for Spain and Latin America at Utimaco, the company that bought Realsec in mid-2021 with the aim of strengthening its proposal and expanding its presence. The company is an expert in hardware-based encryption modules, as well as key management, data protection and identity management.

Lately Utimaco is betting that security is a priority in connected cars. Pablo Juan Mejía talks about the more than ten years of useful life of a car to remember that the security of that car has to protect from attacks in a future in which computers are becoming increasingly powerful and quantum computing is spreading.

Nowadays it is not uncommon for a new car to have internet access, download credentials, there are even cars that already record your biometric data “and securing and guaranteeing this information and the privacy of this data is fundamental for Utimaco. We work with the leading manufacturers not only of cars, but also of car components, ensuring that when you buy a new car, hopefully it is insured by Utimaco and you can drive it happily and safely for many years to come,” says the manager.

Asked about the challenges he faces when it comes to bringing security to connected cars, Pablo Juan Mejía answers that one of them is “a paradigm shift in how the industry has worked”. He explains that it has gone from manufacturing mechanical components to electronic components that open the doors to possible cyberattacks and that is leading to the creation of departments dedicated entirely to the cybersecurity of cars and their components.

For the head of Utimaco for Spain and Portugal, there is no doubt that there will be some attacks “that will cause some alert or commotion among end consumers”. Pablo Juan says that direct attacks are foreseen against the car’s central unit or even against certain components of the car which, in certain cases, may prevent or perform an action that the user does not request”, while mentioning that there will be cases in which users will want to download or modify the software to improve the car’s efficiency, “and in this case it may happen that the car does not respond as it should. We also try to prevent this situation”. What Pablo Juan mentioned is reminiscent of the years of “overclocking”, the practice of increasing the performance of the computer by forcing its CPU or GPU.


The security of connected things is being promoted at the regulatory level. Pablo Juan Mejía reminds us that not long ago the European Commission announced the Cyber Resilience Regulation. According to the executive “at the regulatory level the first steps are being taken and at Utimaco we are actively participating in the consultations and advice to various institutions, governments and private companies because this has just begun”. He also explains that it should be taken into account that many of the companies working in this market segment are experts in the development of IoT components, but not in security, and that “many will not have the financial muscle to be able to face the challenges of cybersecurity. To the extent that regulation and companies like Utimaco join forces to help these small and medium-sized companies, we will be increasingly guaranteeing the security of end consumers”.

It is difficult to talk about the Internet of Things without talking about 5G, the mobile network that will make it possible to exploit the full potential of the universe of connected things. Among other things, 5G makes it possible to download data more quickly to the mobile, and one of the great challenges is security; “when your car is talking to other devices, or the appliances in your home are talking to each other… how to guarantee the privacy of the information will be the great challenge“, and that is where “the role of Utimaco will be relevant”.

Asked if the market is adequately protecting the privacy of users, Pablo Juan answers that it is not sufficiently and that although at a technological level there are measures to improve, at a regulatory level “there is still a long way to go to guarantee people’s privacy”.

The quantum era

Affordable quantum computing is getting closer and closer, and is expected to have a big impact on encryption. How is Utimaco preparing for that moment? Pablo Juan Mejía says that quantum computers will be more or less available around 2030 and that the move from traditional cryptography to protection with post-quantum algorithms takes time; “that is, it’s not like changing box A for box B and everything will magically work. There is a change of paradigms, changes in algorithms, changes in the type of keys… and Utimaco is working with their customers worldwide to make this transition”.

The company’s manager for Spain and Portugal adds that there is a specific program “where we work with customers to see how they manage their encryption keys, what algorithms they are using and how they can now use some of the existing post-quantum algorithms approved by NIST to make this transition. It’s not a simple transition, it’s a transition that takes years, so there is still time to act today”.

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