Ericsson Teams With Guardtime in $69 Billion Data-Safety Market

Ericsson AB, the world’s biggest maker of wireless-network equipment, is teaming with security-technology provider Guardtime to improve the safety and transparency of the data transmitted over its systems.

Guardtime’s technology enables real-time governance of networks with the ability to know who is doing what with data, said Stockholm-based Ericsson, whose customers include wireless carriers such as AT&T Inc. and Vodafone Group Plc.

The agreement lets Ericsson address “the big, hairy problem: How do you make sure nobody has messed with things and don’t have the ability to cover their tracks,” Jason Hoffman, head of cloud software at Ericsson, said today in a phone interview. “Devices may be able to be hacked, but we would know it and awareness is the first step.”

Data breaches are increasingly common and show how methods used by companies to prevent such attacks are far from perfect. Apple Inc. said yesterday that a spate of nude photos from actresses including Jennifer Lawrence that were recently posted online were individually stolen from Apple accounts. Home Depot Inc. is working with banks and law enforcement on a possible hacker attack, and JPMorgan Chase & Co. and at least four other banks were targeted by hackers in a coordinated attack, Bloomberg News reported Aug. 27.

Real-Time Detection

Annual spending on cyber security is likely to rise to $123 billion in 2020 from $69 billion last year, according to a January report from the World Economic Forum and McKinsey & Co. Delaying the use of cloud computing, which includes the delivery of software over the Internet, out of fear of data breaches could lead to $130 billion to $470 billion of unrealized economic value, it said.

Guardtime’s products are based on technology called KSI, or Keyless Signature Infrastructure, an authentication system for real-time monitoring of digital assets. It was developed by a team of cryptographers and security specialists in Estonia after the country suffered a series of cyber-attacks in 2007. Guardtime is based in Tallinn, the country’s capital, and its customers include governments and multinational companies.

“In a completely digital society it’s still impossible to prevent crime, but it does become possible to have 100 percent certainty around detection and you can have real-time mitigation to act on those events,” Guardtime co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Mike Gault says on the company’s website.