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Numerous applications, from financial services institutions to government agencies, and hospitals are designed for point-to-point communication and are not scalable. Furthermore, existing security standards such as those used in ATMs and online transactions do not use quantum technology. This could result in added security risk when quantum computing technology became readily available. 

A new quantum cryptography technology will enhance network encryption tools, so these can be ready to mitigate security risks when quantum computing becomes mainstream. 

A team from ST Engineering and National University of Singapore (NUS) will use “measurement-device-independent” quantum key distribution (MDI QKD) technology in their efforts to build cybersecurity defense against increasingly sophisticated threats.

Supported under National Research Foundation’s Quantum Engineering Program, the partnership aims to make advanced quantum cryptography accessible to the wider industry and drive the advancement of a technology that can lead to a new class of “quantum-resilient encryptors” according to the joint statement cited by The initiative will lead to quantum-resilient encryptors that are not only secure against channel attacks, but also against detection side-channel attacks.

With QKD technology, the laws of quantum theory — with the highly sensitive nature of quantum signals — are tapped to distribute private keys over an insecure network. They can detect any attempts on eavesdropping, offering a secure form of encrypted communication, according to the Singapore organisations. 

“The secret key is transmitted using a sequence of carefully prepared single-photon quantum signals. If the secret key is intercepted, the quantum signals will be disturbed and keys will be rendered useless,” they explained. “This enhances the security of digital communication as data cannot be intercepted or eavesdropped.”

The partnership would explore the feasibility of further improving this through MDI-QKD technology, which also could operate under real-world conditions.