As it appears, in the next 10 years, quantum technology will be very widespread and will greatly improve the process processing currently used on computers. They could also provide a solution to many of them problems that faces technology nowadays, but it could also raise concerns.
With more powerful computers and the ability to perform more mathematical functions every second, the modern ones algorithms cryptography suddenly provide far less security than before the appearance of quantum computers. Security researchers at IBM warn that quantum computers could have the power to break even the strongest protocols encryption in the near future. Although this is likely to happen in five to ten years, the development of security measures against quantum computers is a long-term process. It is therefore important to start as soon as possible.
Although all this is about to change, the Quintet technology research group, Qutech and the Dutch bank ABN AMRO have announced a collaboration - the first of its kind - to use the principles of quantum computing to improve the data security of the bank. The company is already actively developing Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) and will use it to address the security challenges posed by ultra-powerful quantum computers and is the first application of quantum technology to the banking industry.
As these technologies are used, bank details encrypted and transmitted electronically can be monitored and decrypted by a quantum computer and used to steal money from an account.
What is Quantum Key Distribution?
Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) promises secure digital communications, world-class, that can not be broken - not even a quantum computer.
It sounds fairly straightforward, but think of the internet as a communications network, where it is relatively easy to track communications that "travel" through it. QKD seeks to address it by creating a digital communication method that is more powerful than today's technologies.
It also helps to understand a bit more about modern "public-key" encryption systems. In short, these protocols work by creating very difficult mathematical equations that are incredibly time consuming to complete. Quantum computers will be able to complete these equations "immediately".
QKD protects the data by combining a secure key with a large message to create an encrypted text that can not be broken without the accompanying key, regardless of the resources available in terms of time and technology.
This "quantum-distributed" key is created by two communicating parts for preparing and measuring photons in a quantum event. Simply put, a photon is a light particle. One of the great things about quantum technology is that it knows when one observes it. This means that malicious third parties can be detected if they try to steal information when both parties create the quantum key.
It is also important to know that QKD is not used to send and exchange data, it is purely a method of creating and sharing an encryption key type, which can then be used in a more conventional way to encrypt data and send it to internet, for example.
It is certainly not easy to set up a banking system that is protected from potential future attacks using technologies that are not yet in place.
The collaboration between TU Delft and ABN AMRO creates a stronger bridge between academic sciences and corporate ventures. It considers that cooperation in such a way, in real cases of use and applications, will strengthen relations. Ultimately, it creates an ecosystem to develop tomorrow's quantum technology and if it helps banks protect themselves from attack, it's definitely good.
TU Delft, TNO and ABN AMRO said they would demonstrate a secure link based on quantum data at the end of next year. The future of quantum computing may be closer than we thought.