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Demonstrating Quantum-Safe Networks

By Nokia

Quantum computing is a rapidly emerging field that will revolutionize many industries, from healthcare and transportation to finance and cybersecurity. But what exactly is quantum computing, and how does it differ from the classical computers that we use every day?

Based on principles of quantum mechanics, quantum computers use quantum bits, or qubits, to store and process information. Unlike classical computers, which use bits that can only represent either a 0 or a 1, qubits can represent both 0 and 1 simultaneously, a property known as superposition. This abstract concept allows a quantum computer to perform massive, parallel computations, at speeds exponentially faster than classic computers.

Paradoxically, they also pose a threat to cybersecurity. Quantum computers have the potential to break certain encryption algorithms that are currently considered secure. This could enable nefarious agents to perform cyber-attacks that are currently infeasible or impractical, leading to the theft of sensitive data and the disruption of critical infrastructure.

As quantum computers continue to advance and become more powerful, the threat they pose in the wrong hands is now considered imminent. A cybercriminal could intercept encrypted data and store it for later decryption by a quantum computer in a Harvest Now-Decrypt Later (HNDL) attack. In response to this threat, an adaptable, multi-layered approach has come to the forefront, what we now call Quantum-Safe Networks, or QSN.

QSN is a connectivity-focused cryptographic solution, specifically designed to be safe from attacks by quantum computers. Traditional encryption methods rely on mathematical computations safe from classical computers but are vulnerable to attacks by quantum computers. QSN uses methods already available that are safe from quantum attacks, such as pre-shared keys, symmetric key encryption, and Quantum-Key Distribution (QKD).  

There are several key benefits to QSN. First, it provides a means of safeguarding against quantum attacks, ensuring the security of data and communications in the face of increasingly powerful quantum computers. It also helps to mitigate the risk of HNDL as QSN algorithms are expected to remain secure even in the face of future quantum computers. Finally, QSN can help differentiate a company's products and services in the market, as it demonstrates a commitment to security and a willingness to invest in the latest technologies.

Nokia has long offered many QSN elements to the market. More recently, we created a layered solution, ready for network operators to deploy as part of a comprehensive Quantum-Safe policy. We’ve demonstrated this with several customers including Proximus in Belgium and HellasQCI in Greece.

Interest in QSN has spread widely over the past year and we expect it to be a hot topic at Optical Fiber Conference (OFC) in San Diego, CA on 26-28 March, 2024.

We hope to see you there!

Posted: 13 March 2024 by Nokia | with 0 comments

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