Brazilian government to pour cash into cybersecurity start-ups

Nurturing new companies from the sector is seen as insurance policy against new attacks
Written by Angelica Mari, Contributing Writer

The Brazilian government is looking to invest in startups specializing in cybersecurity and defense so that it can be better prepared for future threats.

Secretary of IT policy at the Brazilian Ministry of Science Technology and Innovation (MCTI) Virgílio Almeida told newspaper O Estado de São Paulo that the government will create funding pools specifically for new ventures from that sector.

The idea is to use the expertise of these companies in occurrences such as the recent NSA spying.

The secretary told the paper at the Seoul Conference on Cyberspace that the MCTI will nurture between 10-15 companies that can get up to R$200,000 in funding ($92,043) as well as acceleration and mentoring.

Almeida added that he is interested in companies focusing in encryption technology - the government is currently developing an encrypted email service for federal servants that could be rolled out as a service to all citizens.

The Brazilian government has already said that it is ditching Microsoft Outlook in favour of the bespoke alternative. While savings are expected from the change in strategy as well as an expertise boost from the start-ups that will be funded, the tech community worldwide is left wondering whether this is a valid security strategy.

In any case, investing in new ideas and boosting research and development in public sector IT certainly won't hurt.

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