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Australia awarded A$1.3 million contract for next generation secure wireless devices

Recently, Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, congratulated Canberra cyber security company Penten on being awarded a A$1.3 million innovation contract to develop their AltoCrypt technology for use by the Australian Army.

Currently, access to classified information is limited to hard wired computer systems or paper-based distribution. Under the contract, cybersecurity company Penten will deliver secure wireless devices to counter new cyber threats and streamline information in deployed headquarters of the Australian Defence Force (ADF).

The secure wireless device by Penten, AltoCrypt Stik, is an all-in-one deployable high-grade solution that enables secure mobile access to government networks. It allows highly secure access to classified information over WiFi, improving the speed and currency of information, reducing the cost of cabling whilst elevating the protection against modern cyber threats.

According to the official website of AltoCrypt, AltoCrypt Stik is highly portable, easy to use, and secure. It is a pocket-sized USB device with military grade encryption software under the UK PRIME standard for High Grade government encryption.

This remote access technology provides ADF staff with greater flexibility and faster response times, without risking data security. The A$1.3-million project will change the way governments access and store classified information, enabling mobility and facilitating the move away from paper to electronic distribution and storage.

The development of these advanced communication technology devices will increase agility, reduce complexity and enable better decisions by ADF commanders and their staff in a tactical environment.

“Initial trials will test how this technology could be used with our coalition partners, with a view to increasing the classification in the future,” said Minister Pyne.

This project was selected as part of the new Special Notice platform trialled by the Defence Innovation Hub, which allows Defence capability managers to call for industry and research organisations to submit proposals in response to specific capability challenges.

Minister Pyne said he was pleased to see the Defence Innovation Hub, the Australian Army and our local industry partners working together to develop innovative solutions to enhance Defence capability.

“This activity is part of a broader program of work being carried out by the Army’s Land Network Integration Centre to investigate technologies that enable the faster deployment of tactical headquarters,” he added.

Australian Government’s focus on promoting Australian defence industry and growing the cyber industry through AustCyber has benefitted innovative technology businesses of all sizes in the industry.

"Programs like the Defence Innovation Hub help a small business like Penten accelerate our technology application to the battlefield and brings forward the capability advantage to the Australian Army" said CEO of Penten Mr Matthew Wilson.

Launched in April 2017, Penten’s AltoCrypt Stik is the result of collaborative development with UK cyber partner Amiosec with the support of both the UK and the Australian Governments.

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