Metrarc is a Cambridge based University spin-out which is developing unique and novel technology for deriving secure encryption keys from the properties of digital systems. The core technology, which has been developed with around $3 million funding from EPSRC, the EU and additional support from NASA in the US, is protected with a portfolio of granted patents, design rights and copyright material. The Company has recently received early stage investment and currently has a team of six employees. Metrarc is show-casing its technology through a smartphone application called Defender and is developing the technology for multiple applications including e-commerce and m-commerce as well as for applications such as the Internet-of-Things (IoT) where enhancing encryption security has been identified as a key requirement for preventing data breaches.
The digital revolution has transformed the way we create, use, share, manage and destroy information and data. This has brought about many advantages and benefits to businesses, government, and consumers. However, digital technology has also increased the opportunity for fraud and other cyber crimes and it is therefore vital to ensure the integrity and authenticity of such digital systems. Encryption technology is seen by most as the solution to digital security issues, although in practice, established encryption systems are limited by their reliance on the storage of keys used to encrypt and decrypt data as this is potentially inefficient and insecure.
Metrarc has developed ground-breaking, innovative and much-needed technology which aims to overcome the serious limitations in current secure encryption technology. Metrarc provides a more advanced method of producing encryption keys than other technologies. When keys are usually generated for the purpose of encrypting data, they are stored as templates. The Metrarc system does not store templates instead it uses the features of the digital system to generate an encryption key which is used without any storage. This technology is called ICMetricsTM and is analogous to a fingerprint used in a biometric system. The features are taken from a device and used to encrypt the data and then discarded. To un-encrypt, the reverse process is followed. The lack of any templates means that files and data may be encrypted with much greater security.
Metrarc’s ICMetricTM technology can be seamlessly integrated with existing security systems to provide a pervasively secure environment. The areas of application that are particularly relevant to Metrarc’s technology include trusted computing, secure healthcare applications, mobile communications, network security, user validation and media/software copyright protection. The security of the system is as strong as the device features and encryption algorithm as there is no back door of access to templates and generating keys. The only mechanism to gain access is to provide the same set of device features or to break the cipher employed by the encryption technology.
Once the technology has been developed the Company will evolve a business model based on licensing. The long term vision is to grow a profitable company supplying novel security products.