Nitrokey is the world-leading company in open source security hardware. Nitrokey develops IT security hardware for data encryption, key management and user authentication. The company has been founded in Berlin, Germany in 2015 and can already count thousands of users including numerous well-known international enterprise customers.
Our mission is to develop the best physical “latch keys” to comprehensively secure your digital life. Whether you need a solution for two-factor authentication, encrypted data storage, email encryption, key management or server administration – we offer you a portfolio with plenty of options to protect your personal digital life as well as your enterprise. We aim to provide the best open source security key on the market.
Besides our hardware products we offer services and consulting. This includes customer-specific system customization of Nitrokey products and their integration in your own system environments. Furthermore, we help you with concept, development and certification of your specific security solutions.
Security Requires Open Source
In the last decades, countless incidents became public and showed that proprietary IT systems had severe vulnerabilities or even backdoors. The Snowden revelations gave us clarity about how backdoors are even being implemented with intention in critical IT systems. As long as IT systems are proprietary, backdoors can remain undetected for a long time. That is because we at Nitrokey focus on Open Source and make our software and hardware developments available to the public. This enables our users as well as independent third parties to check and audit the security of Nitrokey products.
Our roots reach back to 2008, when our founder and CEO Jan Suhr and two of his friends had the idea to create an open source USB key called “Crypto Stick”. While traveling, the three friends found themselves encrypting emails in internet cafés whose computers you normally do not want to share your private cryptographic keys with. In that moment, the idea for Nitrokey as a hardware solution for secure usage of email encryption was born. In August 2008, the non-profit open source project Crypto Stick was established. Version 1.0 of the Crypto Stick was released on December 27, 2009.
After some years of producing the Crypto Stick successfully and a lot of positive user and expert feedback, in late 2014, we decided to leave the just-for-fun-zone in order to start a real business in January 2015. We entered a new phase of the project with improved products, faster development and professional support.