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These cybersecurity experts from China are keeping data safe by tapping into quantum physics.

The increasing use of cloud storage has brought with it an increased risk to data security, and cybersecurity researchers have been looking at distributed cloud storage as a plausible solution to this problem. As the world approaches the quantum age of computing, the researchers at QuantumCTek Co in China have found a cost-effective way to do this.

According to Interesting Engineering, the research team uses quantum random numbers as encryption keys to secure information on the cloud and since these keys can be cracked with quantum computers, the team went a step ahead and dispersed them via “Shamir’s secret sharing” and combined it with quantum key distribution (QKD) algorithms. Shamir’s secret sharing is a key distribution algorithm used to distribute private information to a select group of people.

The only issue is that using Sharmir’s secret sharing along with other QKD algorithms is accompanied by significant requirements of cloud storage space, which come with substantial costs.

QuantumCTek’s research team has used the same approach with one additional step: they applied erasure coding (splitting the data into multiple fragments) within the ciphertext before transmitting data through QKD algorithms. This added step provides quantum security and achieves efficient storage that allows for a more cost-effective approach.

The team reportedly also explored applying this approach beyond data transmission and offering quantum security to data storage, which worked equally as well. The researchers examined this theory through a series of tests, such as encryption/decryption, critical preservation, and data storage.

“It not only achieves quantum security but also saves storage space when compared to traditional mirroring methods or ones based on Shamir’s secret sharing, which is commonly used for distributed management of sensitive data,” said Yong Zhao, vice president of QuantumCTek.

With the ability to compute at speeds years ahead of today’s fastest computers, quantum computers could quickly be tasked with hacking into the most secure destinations and overpowering them lightning-quick. Therefore, the need for a cybersecurity solution fitting the quantum age is more vital than ever.