PQShield expands its business team with two senior appointments

PQShield announces that it is bolstering its core business team with two new senior appointments, hiring Michael Vroobel as VP of Operations and Alan Grau as VP Business Development.

PQShield senior appointments

Post-quantum cryptography is an increasingly mission-critical consideration for businesses and governments alike. While the imminent arrival of quantum computers offers enormous potential benefits to society, it also puts the world’s information security at unprecedented new levels of risk, as quantum computers will easily be able to break the public-key encryption used to protect much of the world’s sensitive data.

Researchers and cryptographers are working on quantum secure cryptography as a part of the NIST post-quantum cryptography standardisation project, which is expected to announce its results around the end of 2021. PQShield is well placed as a leading player in this project, having contributed two of the seven finalist algorithms.

Headquartered in Oxford, UK with additional teams in the Netherlands and France, PQShield is pioneering the development and commercial roll-out of advanced, quantum-ready cryptographic solutions for hardware, software and communications, helping businesses prepare for the quantum threat. This appointments will enable PQShield to scale up its business offering internationally, as the company continues to deliver its expertise and product offering to companies across a range of sectors.

Michael Vroobel joins PQShield as VP Operations, where he will help to scale the company by building out the operational teams globally, driving recruitment and continuing to develop PQShield’s culture of collaboration and customer centric delivery. Michael brings ten years’ experience building and leading operations functions in high-growth technology companies. Prior to joining PQShield, Michael helped fintech scaleups TrueLayer and MarketFinance grow from early-stage startups to mid-size companies with a particular focus on hiring quality talent and nurturing company culture.

Michael Vroobel, VP of Operations at PQShield, said: “I am very excited to be joining a company that is facing up to a new fundamental cyber threat to business. The potential impact and benefit to society from PQShield’s work cannot be understated and I look forward to helping to grow the business, while helping it retain its core spirit and values.”

Alan Grau joins PQShield as VP of Business Development and is based in the US, where he will help scale PQShield’s presence as an industry leader in the US market ahead of the NIST results later this year. He previously co-founded Icon Labs, a pioneer in IoT Security that was acquired by Sectigo in 2019. Alan has a wealth of experience in device security and will expand PQShield’s relationships with the devices market as part of his role.

Alan Grau, VP of Business Development at PQShield, said: “We are on the verge of an unprecedented technology shift that will impact every device and system relying on today’s cryptographic solutions. I am excited to have joined PQShield – a leading provider of post-quantum cryptography solutions and a front-runner in the race to protect our sensitive data from the imminent quantum threat – and couldn’t be happier to join the team as it embarks on the next chapter of its exciting journey.”

Dr. Ali El Kaafarani, CEO and Founder of PQShield, said: “The next year will be a crucial inflection point for post-quantum cryptography and I am confident that spurred by these two hires and the unrivaled technical expertise on our team, we will be able to cement ourselves as key players within the market. I am excited by the prospects Michael and Alan bring to PQShield: both bring a wealth of hugely-relevant experience and expertise that will help grow us as a business and expand our capabilities as we help industry to face the quantum threat.”

These hires follow the addition of Ben Marshall, the editor and main author of the RISC-V “K” Cryptography Extension, as a Cryptography Engineer in April of this year. Along with this strategic hire, PQShield recently announced a reciprocal agreement for training and advisory services with Kudelski Security.

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