Ncipher: NICKO AND ALEX VAN SOMEREN/Cambridge, England

NICKO AND ALEX VAN SOMEREN/Cambridge, England

At age 12, Nicko Van Someren was already playing with the algorithms that are now used to secure data at the world's top financial institutions. Ncipher, the company he founded with his brother Alex, has been equally precocious. In 1996, when banks and stores were unrolling cybershops, Nicko, far right, and Alex, Ncipher's CTO and CEO, respectively, saw that existing encryption technology was not up to the task. And much of it still isn't, even though IT security is a $20 billion business. In a recent survey by Deloitte & Touche, 39% of financial firms questioned said their computer systems had...

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