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Quantum News Briefs July 6: HSBC tests quantum tech in London; Terra Quantum & Cirdan Capital harness the power of quantum software for enhanced exotic option pricing; Vodafone & Sandbox conduct proof-of-concept test for quantum safe Virtual Private Network (VPN); + MORE

Quantum News Briefs looks at news in the quantum industry.
By Sandra Helsel posted 06 Jul 2023

Quantum News Briefs July 6: HSBC tests quantum tech in London to guard against future hacks; Terra Quantum & Cirdan Capital harness the power of quantum software for enhanced exotic option pricing; Vodafone & Sandbox conduct proof-of-concept test for quantum safe Virtual Private Network (VPN) + MORE.

HSBC tests quantum tech in London to guard against future hacks

Bloomberg’s Thomas Seal reported on July 4 that HSBC Holdings Plc will become the first British bank to test an advanced data-security system being run by UK telecom giant BT Group Plc, Amazon.com Inc.’s AWS cloud and Japan’s Toshiba Corp. Quantum News Briefs summarizes the coverage.
Participating in the trial involves the bank installing equipment to send test data 62 kilometers (38.5 miles) between its headquarters in London’s Canary Wharf financial district and a data center in the neighboring county Berkshire. HSBC said the trial will help it better analyze threats and work out how to protect data.
Seal notes that “While it won’t be a standalone cybersecurity method, it may be an important part of the defense strategy for companies like HSBC as the technology develops.”  Later generations of quantum computers could slice through the mathematics modern encryption is based on, so a separate and critical part of preparing for what’s known as “Q-Day” is finding new encryption methods.
HSBC isn’t the first bank to consider quantum key distribution as a potential long-term security method; JPMorgan Chase said last year it had “demonstrated the ability of the newly developed QKD network to instantly detect and defend against eavesdroppers” as part of a system also involving Toshiba. Click here to read original article in-entirety.

Terra Quantum & Cirdan Capital harness the power of quantum software for enhanced exotic option pricing

Terra Quantum and Cirdan Capital demonstrate a significant value creation potential by accelerating the pricing of exotic options. Quantum News Briefs summarizes July 6 announcement.
Using a proprietary approach to price exotic options, Terra Quantum’s algorithms were able to showcase a pricing speedup of up to 75%compared to commonly used methods.St. Gallen, Munich & London, 6 July 2023–Terra Quantum, a leading quantum technology company, and Cirdan Capital, a London-based investment bank, announce their joint efforts in creating tangible business value using quantum software. They have successfully developed a faster algorithmic method to price exotic options, such as multi-asset autocallableoptions, by leveraging Terra Quantum’s proprietary algorithms. Exotic options, like the ones mentioned, lack analytical solutions,and usually require Monte Carlo simulations to determine their prices. These simulations are widely used in the Financial Services industry but can be computationally expensive. Terra Quantum’s approach, utilizing its specialized quantum software based on Tensor Networks, offers a significant advantage in calculating high-dimensional integrals and solving complex partial differential equations involved in option pricing.
Importantly, this approach can be run on classical compute infrastructure, providing a competitive advantage over the industry standard Monte Carlo methods. For instance, theseoption pricing calculationsachieved a 75% pricing speedup compared to the benchmark, utilizing the equivalent compute infrastructure for both approaches.
As Terra Quantum’s approach evolves with large-scale quantum computing hardware, this speedup is expected to further increase. The increased speed provided by Terra Quantum’s approach enables traders, risk managers, and banks to evaluate their books and structured product portfolios more efficiently while reducing the time and cost associated with cloud compute usage. Additionally, Terra Quantum’s solution improves the speed and computational efficiency of calculating risk parameters, commonly referred to as the ‘Greeks’.
The collaboration of Cirdan Capital and Terra Quantum showcases how existing, quantum-compatible mathematical models can provide a market edge for financial institutions today, while effectively preparing them for future quantum-powered applications. Click here to read complete announcement on Terra Quantum’s website.

Vodafone & Sandbox conduct proof-of-concept test for quantum safe Virtual Private Network (VPN)

Vodafone joined forces with SandboxAQ to conduct a proof-of-concept test for a quantum safe Virtual Private Network (VPN) – a type of network used by millions of workers to securely access company systems via their devices.
The test was conducted using standard smartphones, connected to the VPN, that had been specifically adapted by Vodafone/SandboxAQ using cryptography algorithms from The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). NIST is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, and it has developed a framework of standards for national or corporate cyber security practices.
Adapting a standard smartphone for the test allowed Vodafone/SandboxAQ to evaluate the latest NIST standards in a real-life telecommunications scenario.
Governments are adopting NIST standards as part of their planning to mitigate the potential risk Quantum Computing poses today. One of those risks is SNDL.
Vodafone’s Head of Research and Development Luke Ibbetson explained: “The Store Now, Decrypt Later attack involves adversaries stealing encrypted data now so they can decrypt it in the future with a quantum computer. Although cryptographically relevant quantum computers may remain some years off, the threat posed by quantum-empowered attackers i​​s already here today.”
According to some online reports, threat actors may already be harvesting data in anticipation of the quantum computing revolution. Although there is no hard evidence that long-lived sensitive data, such as government records, corporate intellectual property, and even individual biodata, may already be at risk, Vodafone has started work on this now by testing new cryptography in partnership with key industry players.
While this will not protect vulnerable data which may have been already harvested and stored for future decryption, Vodafone believes in taking the necessary steps now to mitigate as much risk as possible going forward. Its goal is to work in tandem with partners to migrate data in an orderly fashion to suitable, post quantum cryptographic methods now to protect customers, governments, and society from future SNDL attacks.
Vodafone has taken a leading role in the GSMA’s newly established Post-Quantum Telco Network (PQTN) task force to help develop industry-wide strategies and planning to address the quantum threat.
The Vodafone-SandboxAQ quantum-safe VPN project assessed the impact of PQC algorithms on this key telecommunications service, without compromising the customer experience.  Click here for original article in-entirety.

Keyfactor announces updates with post-quantum readiness & Internet of Things (IoT) security

Keyfactor, the identity-first security solution for modern enterprises, the identity-first security solution for modern enterprises, has announced the launch of two innovative product updates, EJBCA 8.0 and SignServer 6.0. The updates bring significant advancements in post-quantum readiness and Internet of Things (IoT) security as organizations seek safeguards against the rising possibility of cyberattacks brought on by developments in and growth of both technologies. Quantum News Briefs summarizes.

“Today, many organizations aren’t prepared for the transition to post-quantum cryptography. Whether they are ready or not, the new algorithms and standards are coming soon, and PKI will need to adapt accordingly,” said Ted Shorter, Chief Technology Officer, Keyfactor. “As a leader in PKI and cryptography management, we have put ourselves in front of this coming wave, and our mission is to lead our customers through their post-quantum transition. We’re committed to providing the tools and capabilities they need to establish and maintain digital trust in their ecosystem as their security needs evolve, including in their transition to post-quantum security and securing emerging IoT devices by design.”
New features with EJBCA 8.0 include:

    • Post-Quantum Preparation: Support to start testing and evaluating new quantum-safe candidate algorithms for certificate issuance and certificate signing, including Dilithium and Falcon. The update allows companies to better prepare for the inevitable transition to post-quantum cryptography ahead of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) finalizing standardization in 2024.
    • New IoT Security Capabilities: A new modular extension to EJBCA, plus support for the Matter Smart Home standard, extends the powerful capabilities already offered by Keyfactor today by making it even easier for manufacturers to deploy public key infrastructure (PKI) on the factory floor, at the edge, or in operational technology (OT) environments, while supporting industry requirements.
    • Agile SSH Certificate Issuance: A new SSH Certificate Authority (CA) type that helps organizations move towards a more agile and secure approach of establishing trusted connections with machines. Specifically, the update makes it possible for organizations to issue host and user SSH certificates, enhance security with the ability to issue short-lived SSH certificates, and replace static SSH keys and passwords that are hard to manage and vulnerable to theft or misuse.

Sandra K. Helsel, Ph.D. has been researching and reporting on frontier technologies since 1990.  She has her Ph.D. from the University of Arizona.

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Noah Goss, lead author on a new study from AQT and UC Berkeley, found that a qutrit can offer significant benefits for quantum information processing.