Quantum Key Distribution Crucial to a Secure Quantum Internet
(TechRadar) The arrival of commercial quantum computing promises substantial opportunity for growth and is driving major investment as governments across Europe and the world strive to make their economies ‘quantum-ready’.
Certainly, quantum computers offer an unparalleled opportunity given their power. But, simply put, this same potential brings with it a cybersecurity threat which makes the technology unviable without a way of securing the quantum threat. That is, according to Bruno Huttner, Director of Strategic Quantum Initiatives for ID Quantique, that it “is basically going to destroy the security of networks as we know them today.”
Fortunately, the solution to negating the quantum threat is already here. With multiple milestones achieved over the past few months demonstrating its commercial viability, the arrival of Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) is key to the realization of the quantum economy – not least because it provides the next-level of security required to safely unlock the potential of quantum computing.
Unlike conventional public key encryption, whose security depends on the inability of classical computers to solve complex mathematical problems within a practical timeframe, QKD’s security is guaranteed by fundamental and unavoidable physical laws. By harnessing the inherent unpredictability in the state of particles, like electrons or photons, QKD can be used to generate the random numbers needed for cryptographic applications. Furthermore, by sending streams of encoded single photons through an optical communication network, it is possible to share a secret digital key that can be used for encrypting or authenticating information. Combined with quantum resistant algorithms, this means that QKD is not only secure from today’s eavesdropping attacks, but all future ones as well.