BT and Toshiba showcased quantum cryptography - future of secure comms

BT and Toshiba have shown everybody what the future of secure communication looks like.  At BT’s research and development centre in Ipswich, the two companies have opened the UK’s first secure quantum communications showcase, where quantum cryptography was presented. The cutting edge in secure communication, this technology can be used to protect digital information communicated from banks and similar financial services organisations.  

According to the press release, it works by delivering ‘secret keys over fibre optic cable’. It uses the tiniest possible packets of light. That allows the user to easily detect any eavesdroppers, because any monitoring will disturb the photons sending these keys and result in errors in encoding.  The technology has been in development for the past two years, at Toshiba’s research lab in Cambridge. 

Firstly, they managed to use quantum cryptography on ‘lit’ installed fibre carrying 10Gbps data signals. More recently, however, they discovered that quantum key distribution and 100Gbps data can be combined on the same fibre.  

Professor Tim Whitley, head of research for BT, and MD of Adastral Park, said: “We’ve been conducting research into quantum cryptography for several years now so this is a great step forward in demonstrating how our research can benefit businesses. Businesses and organisations today face a tide of ever increasing and highly sophisticated attacks from cyber criminals so ensuring the secure transfer of critical data is more important than ever. We’re confident that quantum cryptography will play an increasingly important role in helping companies guarantee that their secure communications remain water-tight in the future.”  

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