computer simulation of quantumcryptography network, courtesy of SECOQC
AboveNet, a leading provider of fibre optic and IP connectivity solutions for business and carriers, and QinetiQ, the defence, security and technology company, have announced a strategic partnership that will exploit an advanced cryptography solution to provide strong network security for communications. This solution aims to make quantum cryptography a reality across optical networks.
Operating QinetiQ’s quantum-based security over AboveNet’s dedicated fibre optic network in London will offer an extremely secure way for governments, financial institutions and organisations with high security requirements, to transfer confidential information and sensitive data. With the number and variety of security threats increasing every day, QinetiQ’s security solution will significantly strengthen the management of the network security in a practical manner. Strong management of the encryption codes to prevent insider and external theft or hacking ensure that costs associated with recovery and disruption to businesses are minimised.
The quantum technique at the heart of QinetiQ’s network security solution enables the dynamic re-coding of equipment across a network. The technique exploits the complex quantum world, where light transmitting along optical fibres actually consists of many quantum particles called photons. Information is encoded onto properties of the photon so that if an eavesdropper attempts to steal the photon’s information, system performance is disturbed and an alarm is triggered. When combined with other cryptographic techniques the network solution provides the highest forward and backward security with strong and dynamic access management.
“We are taking quantum cryptography out of the research lab and into practical commercial applications. We are moving from simple point to point demonstrations to a network solution that will be secure, scalable, flexible, dynamic and most importantly, is applicable to standard networks.” added Magnus McEwen-King, of QinetiQ Ventures. “As the technology becomes market-ready, AboveNet is well placed to help us roll out quantum-based security solutions to its current and future customer base and address global telecoms network security applications. Next generation broadband networks rely on widespread rollout of fibre connectivity and our quantum cryptography project is designing the next generation of data network security to support this”
“With dedicated fibre already considered to be one of the most secure mediums to transport data, Quantum cryptography will enable the most cutting-edge security encryption for fibre connectivity – the standard for next-generation networks,” commented John Donaldson, managing director at AboveNet. “Once proven in London, it has the potential to protect the nation’s data from security threats, now and in the future. It’s exciting to be making that level of security a reality.”