Finnish kit vendor Nokia, alongside Greek research consortium HellasQCI, has completed a proof of concept demonstrating what it calls quantum-safe connectivity infrastructure.

Andrew Wooden

December 18, 2023

2 Min Read
Quantum computing

The point of this endeavour was to run use cases with HellasQCI consortium members – from government, research and education, defence, law enforcement and private sector critical infrastructure owners – to stress-test some ‘quantum-safe’ connectivity infrastructure.

The project took place in an optical network ring topology across three locations in Greece, and Nokia says it ‘successfully demonstrated hybrid key generation using both classic and quantum physics to generate and distribute Quantum-Safe keys for encrypted optical services.’

The Nokia QSN – or quantum safe network – solution showcased the ‘value added’ by a Nokia Security Management Server (SMS) to orchestrate quantum safe keys and provide continuous monitoring and management of quantum secured connectivity, so says the release.

The tool in question is the Quantum-Safe Key orchestrator, which can increase ‘secured connectivity resiliency’ automatically by reverting to classic physics-based keys in case of issues on the QKD layer.

“We are proud to partner with HellasQCI and its consortium members to demonstrate our QSN solution in this challenging and innovative PoC,” said James Watt, Head of the Optical Networks Division at Nokia. “Test environments like this are crucial to ensure networks are ready for quantum-level cybersecurity attacks, which are inevitable as quantum computing becomes more accessible around the world.

“Nokia brings a structured framework and a collaborative partner-based approach combined with our world-leading networking expertise with extensive experience managing large-scale and complex deployments with multi-connectivity domain and multi QKD vendor technologies.”

The ultimate ambitions of quantum computing are high and broad, with those driving it forward speculating the massive enhancements in computational grunt will help the world solve any number of its problems such as disease, global warming, economic instability, and tons more.

The other side of the coin is that it could render current encryption methods obsolete, meaning if (when?) it gets into the wrong hands a quantum powered attack could roll over current standard security measures – which this release points out could ‘easily damage life sustaining critical infrastructure.’

Coming up with solutions that can mitigate or stop such catastrophes would therefore seem to be somewhat vital to the overall quantum project. For more on this, check out our interview with IBM and Vodafone from earlier this year to read more about these security threats on networks, and one with Quantum Key Distribution firm LuxQuanta about the various forms of defence being developed.

About the Author(s)

Andrew Wooden

Andrew joins on the back of an extensive career in tech journalism and content strategy.

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