Quantum Networks and Security: Toshiba & BT Breakthrough

Quantum Networks and Security: Toshiba & BT Breakthrough

Toshiba and telecommunications company, BT, have recently made a breakthrough in quantum networks and security. Together these companies have successfully created what they claim is the first quantum secured network in a commercial setting.

What are Quantum Networks?

Quantum communication is the way of the future. These advanced networks are similar to how a currently established network exchanges communications or information between variously connected points. The advanced quantum network exchanges data securely by utilizing “quantum cryptographic keys over fiber optic cable between distinct, physically-separated quantum processors, or endpoints.”

quantum networks and security infographic(Photo credit: QuantumXChange)

The quantum keys create a Quantum Key Distribution network. This utilizes qubits or quantum bits in the form of encoded keys that travel over a fiber optic cable and any attempt to intercept the key’s information will dismember or erase the qubit’s delicate state and alert the fiber endpoints of the cyber attempt. This advanced process creates a high-alert secure quantum network capable of monitoring and proactively dealing with various cyberthreats.

Toshiba and BT’s Roles

While quantum networks have been in development for the past few years, Toshiba and BT are the first to offer this highly secure network for commercial use in the United Kingdom. Ernst & Young is the first established customer to utilize this unprecedented deployment. With this new customer as part of an ongoing trial, the joint companies plan to test the innovative network over the next three years.

This process consists of client data from Ernst & Young to be transferred over Carrie fiber routes or fiber optic cable to various sites while utilizing the quantum key distribution.

USA and QKD Technology

Since 2013, Battelle has been using QKD technologies between its Dublin, Ohio to its Columbus, Ohio facilities. This connection has created a secure, two-layer encryption network that requires dedicated dark fiber routes. While there are still limitations to this utilized technology, such as distance traveled, Battelle is continuing to develop its network and plans to connect as far as Washington, DC. “The total distance for this network would be more than700km/420mi, making it the largest known QKD network in the world.”

Governments worldwide are beginning to develop and utilize cryptographic algorithms for quantum networks and security. These innovative networks are allowing for the authentication and protection of highly confidential information. As more organizations seek the security of quantum networks, there will be various challenges associated with the adoption and standardization. In the near future, networks that do not rely on quantum key distribution will be facing increased security threats.

For more information on carrier fiber routes or network availability, contact the experts at GeoTel today.

Author: GeoTel Experts

Valerie Stephen
valeriestephen@geo-tel.com