Quantum computers have the potential to be able to crack the mathematics that underpins much of the current cryptography that is used to secure networks.
That immediately calls into question the security of standards such as Public Key Cryptography (PKC), whose security underpins today’s digital economy. And whilst quantum computers aren’t yet here, yet there is a real and current danger to today’s data. There’s a risk of ‘hack-today, crack-tomorrow’ attacks, – whereby an attacker might collect it with the expectation of being able to decrypt the most valuable using a future quantum computer. It is imperative that the industry develops security technologies able to resist threats today as well as in the future.
We’re working on Quantum Key Distribution (QKD), a secure key establishment technology available today that provides a secure communication method for exchanging encryption keys only known between shared parties, across an authenticated but insecure channel. Supporting the transition to quantum safety, together, with Toshiba we have built the world’s first metro scale network, designed to trial quantum-secure services. Deployed across the City and West of London, the QSMN covers a large metropolitan area of potential BT customers in sectors such as financial services.
The transition to quantum-secure technologies such as QKD will be a complex process taking years to implement. The technologies need to be tested under real-world conditions and organisations need to build teams with a new set of skills in order to deploy them effectively. For this reason, it is important that organisations in those sectors that will be most affected, such as finance and government, start addressing this transition as soon as possible even while understanding it will be a long-term challenge.
Download our whitepaper to discover more about the securing the future quantum economy.