Westpac acquires strategic stake in cyber security firm QLabs

Westpac has acquired an 11% stake in Canberra-based cyber security firm QuintessenceLabs (QLabs)

Australian banking major Westpac has acquired an 11% stake in Canberra-based cyber security firm QuintessenceLabs (QLabs), which specialises in quantum technology-based online security.

QLabs intends to use the capital raised from the sale to accelerate its product roadmap and expand business development activities to enhance market penetration.

As part of the deal, Westpac general manager for technology and architecture Robert Wilson will join QLabs’ board of directors. The lender also has the option to further increase its stake to 16%.

Westpac said it will initially use the technology internally to boost security of employee desktops and devices and explore its use in protecting customer data.

Westpac Group CIO Dave Curran said: “Protection of customer information and sensitive commercial data is an industry-wide priority. This investment signals Westpac is stepping up its proactive, strategic approach to building our security capabilities now and in the future.

“As we deliver the bank’s digital transformation, it is essential that we maintain the resilience and security of our systems. To do this, we need to continually evolve our solutions to help protect our confidential data, and we see the relationship with QuintessenceLabs as a significant next step on this journey.”

Founded in 2006 by its Indian-born CEO Vikram Sharma, QuintessenceLabs was named Australia’s most innovative small company in 2014.