Today, encryption protects emails, financial transactions and much more, but it is at risk from quantum computers. These powerful machines can exploit quantum physics to solve complex problems, including those at the heart of public key encryption, such as RSA. Although Y2Q has not yet arrived, experts estimate that it could do so in 6 years.
To prepare for Y2Q, researchers are developing post-quantum cryptography algorithms to secure digital communication. The U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is leading this effort, with new standards expected by 2024.
Enter Quantum Key Distribution (QKD), a cutting-edge solution that harnesses the power of quantum physics to ensure the absolute security of encryption keys. At its core, QKD relies on the principle that quantum information cannot be cloned or intercepted without detection, thanks to the "no-cloning theorem."
➡ Here's how it works: When two parties want to establish a secret encryption key, they use quantum particles, typically photons, to generate the sectret, symmetic keys. Any attempt to intercept these quantum particles would inevitably alter their quantum states, leaving an unmistakable trace. This means that if a hacker tries to eavesdrop on the key exchange, they will be caught in the act, and the compromised key is discarded.
QKD has already transitioned from theory to reality, with quantum networks spanning regions and even countries. China, for instance, has established an extensive quantum network that includes quantum satellites beaming photons to ground stations, creating a secure link between distant locations. These networks are used for everything from secure government communications to financial transactions.
Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) stands at the forefront of this revolution, providing a level of security that was once thought impossible. Umong others, QI is providing QKD solution to connect the ground station of satellite QKD into the metroploitan area.
Together, we can ensure that our information remains protected in an increasingly interconnected and quantum-powered world.