Nick Kaldas joins the encryption game


James Riley
Editorial Director

Former NSW Police deputy commissioner and United Nations investigator Nick Kaldas has joined the cybersecurity sector, appointed to the Asia Pacific managing director role at San Francisco-based Secured Communications.

Secured Communications was founded by ex-law enforcement officers and has focused sales of its communications product to public safety offices of police, fire and emergency management.

More recently the company has broadened its target, to the broader public service and private sector. With the changed work practices brought about by the pandemic, the company is riding the wave of demand for high-end encrypted communications products.

Mr Kaldas’ appointment at Secured Communications coincides with the launch of its Mercury encrypted communications platform, which is being offered to business and government customers. It also comes as the company broadens its international footprint, with subsidiary operations roughly mapping to the five eyes intelligence partnership.

Nick Kaldas
Nick Kaldas has joined Secured Communications as its APAC chief

Mr Kaldas said the company culture was a product of the law enforcement background of many of its top officers. It has put in place a stringent vetting process to look at potential customers before putting the encryption products in their hands.

“This company is made up of many ex-members of law enforcement. We are not going to let [that technology] fall into the wrong hands, whether that’s organised crime, or outlaw motorcycle groups or anything else,” Mr Kaldas said.

“We are simply not going to allow that to happen.”

The company worked closely with law enforcement services. Mr Kaldas said he was not concerned about Australia encryption laws and that it had “given an assurance that is there was an appropriate requirement – either through a search warrant or other legal process it has been put through – we will fully comply with that.”

“There are no two ways about it. We are committed to that.”

Since leaving the NSW Police, Mr Kaldas has worked as an investigator with the United Nations and has led teams in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Gaza, the West Bank – including the investigation of the use of chemical weapons in Syria.

The experience was a “pivotal moment” because it highlighted the need for secure information sharing and discussions under very difficult circumstances across the middle east.

“That’s why I gravitated back to this area [encrypted comms] when I got back. I could see the legitimate uses for this technology across so many quarters,” Mr Kaldas said.

Corporate clients will be vetted by Secured Communications’ compliance process, which incorporates expert leadership teams comprised of former senior FBI, law enforcement and technology leaders.

“Unlike other companies, Mercury will never harvest and share user data or trade its clients’ privacy protection for a larger user base,” Mr Kaldas said.

“Mercury offers similar features to other applications, but none can match it for its security through end to end encryption and the enterprise level of support from the company.”

Mr Kaldas said he was attracted to working with Secured Communications because it was established by former law enforcement officers, and by the calibre of its technical experts who include former NASA engineers.

Its founders have worked with NASA, the US Department of Justice, the US Department of the Navy, the US Marine Corps, Microsoft and Intel.

“We know how important it is for businesses to have the reassurance that their information is protected and to conduct remote meetings in private, knowing that anything discussed or shared is not overheard or captured by anyone else,” Mr Kaldas said.

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