HSBC and Vodafone are testing quantum protection: a new era in cybersecurity begins
In the future, the usual idea of secure data transmission may change dramatically.
british bank HSBC Launches in London, a quantum-secured data network, while the international telecommunications giant Vodafone tests quantum-safe VPN for smartphones. Both companies want to prevent future attacks on encryption.
HSBC will use a quantum-secure network built by BT and Toshiba to exchange data over standard fiber optic cables between its headquarters in Canary Wharf, London, and a data center 62km away. The bank will conduct financial transactions and video communications, as well as test computing at the edge of the network (edge computing) using the device AWS Snowball Edge.
AWS Snowball Edge Appliance
A quantum-secured network is based on quantum key distribution (Quantum Key Distribution, QKD), which allows you to safely transmit encryption keys, encoding information in the quantum states of photons. This makes it impossible for the keys to be intercepted or tampered with, as any tampering will change the state of the photons and be detected.
HSBC hopes to gain valuable data on the health of the technology and help develop future financial security applications. The bank said it processed 4.5 billion payments worth £3.5 trillion last year. pounds sterling, which depend on encryption.
Vodafone, in turn, is worried that quantum computers can break existing encryption algorithms and in the future be able to decrypt encoded data. The company is partnering with SandboxAQ, a startup from Alphabet, to test a quantum-secure VPN for smartphones.
Vodafone has adapted VPN to use post-quantum cryptographic algorithms (Post-Quantum Cryptographic, PQC) developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (The National Institute of Standards and Technology, NIST). Such algorithms are supposedly resistant to quantum hacking.
The company has tested several PQC algorithms and stated that they have a minimal impact on the quality of service when using the web browser, chat clients, video and audio streaming, and mobile games.
Vodafone acknowledged that the transition to PQC would take time and resources, but said it was important to act now. The company will continue to test new solutions and work with other industry players to develop global standards for data protection.