EU’s Quantum Technologies Flagship Creating Quantum Encryption Protocols for Cybersecurity
(HomelandSecurity) Scientists at EU’s Future and Emerging Technologies Flagship on Quantum Technologies (QT) have created novel prototypes that use quantum encryption protocols for secure transmission of sensitive information through the internet. The QT Flagship supports several initiatives, such as the CiViQ project, for purposes of data security.
“Using the laws of quantum physics, scientists at the CiViQ (or Continuous Variable Quantum Communications) project are using Quantum Key Distribution (QKD), a light-based secure method of exchanging encryption codes (or ‘keys’) between two entities,” as noted in a Quantum Flagship news item. “This secure encryption cannot be intercepted or manipulated,” the news item adds. This means that “data is ‘unhackable’. QKD works by transmitting light particles, or photons, over a fiber optic cable from one entity to another.” The Quantum Flagship news item states: “Photons are made in such a way that any attempt to read or copy them will change their quantum properties, corrupting the information and letting the sender and receiver know that a third party tried to intercept.”
Prof. Dr. Valerio Pruneri from CiViQ project coordinator ICFO – The Institute of Photonic Sciences, says: “CiViQ’s QKD technology will enable wide-scale deployment and integration into modern telecom networks, providing long-term and reliable data security, based on the physical principle of quantum mechanics.”
Project partners hope to make QKD a mainstream technology for communications and data transmissions at a global level. “We expect to use these prototypes in field demonstrations in a real optical network in 2020 while we will also continue to develop even more advanced systems with higher integration and performance in laboratory experiments,” Prof. Pruneri says.