Exium, a ‘clean network’ company, comes out of stealth mode

Exium, a Palo Alto, California-based company focused on “clean network” standards that the U.S. government trumpeted last year, has emerged from stealth mode.

Led by Farooq Khan, the company has announced its “Secure 5G network as a service.” The company’s network service is built on an open, programmable, software-driven cybersecurity mesh technology that relies heavily on strong encryption.

The company says that its approach enables “secure and private end-to-end connectivity” and provides the ability to “securely operate anywhere and anytime, regardless of the environment, even on underlying networks that may be compromised.”

The Clean Network program is something the Trump Administration created, described as a way of safeguarding the nation’s assets, including citizens’ privacy and companies’ most sensitive information from intrusions by those deemed as bad actors, namely the Chinese Communist Party. Last August, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the expansion of the program.

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Exium said it launched as a startup to serve businesses that are increasingly demanding the same end-to-end security standards that the U.S. government requires for its communications. All traffic runs on cloud infrastructure built and operated exclusively by U.S. companies, such as Amazon, Google and Microsoft.

“The only way to be sure a network is clean is architecting and building it from the bottom up. The recent spate of cyberattacks were possible because outdated, proprietary systems are still being used across organizations,” said Khan, founder and CEO at Exium, in a statement.

“We are going direct to the enterprises but we are also working through the carriers,” he told Fierce. “It’s very enterprise-friendly. It doesn’t look like a traditional telecom product.”

Exium’s 5G network service is built on a software-driven Intelligent Cybersecurity Mesh that treats the internet itself as Zero Trust. (Exium)

Exium is not in the radio access network (RAN) business, and the 5G standard allows it to be device and network agnostic. The company says users can benefit from 5G clean network security and privacy on 4G, Wi-Fi, fiber, cable or even satellite networks.

The service natively works with 5G devices without requiring any software updates. For non-5G devices, including Windows and Mac computers, a 5G software app is required, and that’s available on Exium’s website.

“What we are doing is making it easy to deploy 5G for these new use cases for all these verticals,” including industrial use cases, Khan said.

Khan previously was the CEO of Phazr, a Dallas, Texas-based startup that was sold to JMA in 2018. Khan left his position as president of Samsung Research America in 2015 to work full-time at Phazr. He is one of the authors of a millimeter wave presentation that was introduced at an IEEE show back in 2011. He, along with co-author Jerry Pi, presented a tutorial proposing millimeter waves for mobile cellular communications at IEEE WCNC 2011.