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Specialists expect that within 5 to 10 years we will reach a situation in which quantum computers enable calculations that are fundamentally impossible with conventional computers. There are many positive implications for the applications and developments that this offers. However, quantum technology can also be used with both good and bad intentions. Since the future "universal" quantum computer (which is expected to be in place in 10 to 15 years) has the potential to break current encryption methods, current security systems for internet and mobile banking will no longer be adequate.
On the other hand, the advent of quantum technologies can provide the highest possible safety guarantees. By connecting users via quantum networks, secure connections can be made. Such connections make use of the quantum phenomenon 'entanglement', which means that when someone tries to eavesdrop on or collect data in some other way, this is always noticed. Quantum technology is still in its infancy and before quantum networks can be put into commercial operation, a great deal of research will have to be done.
In order to achieve an optimal level of security, the parties are focusing on the realisation of an advanced system for Measurement Device Independent-Quantum Key Distribution (MDI-QKD). With this new form of QKD, multiple users can be connected to each other via a central measurement and then exchange unique and complex codes. It's almost impossible to eavesdrop on these. QuTech and ABN AMRO also use a combination of different media to further increase security.
The quantum connection is established by laser communication via existing fibre-optic connections and by air (free space), a method developed by TNO Space and Scientific Instrumentation. Kees Buijsrogge, director of TNO Space: " For a number of years TNO Space has been working together with large space companies, among others, on making secure and broadband communication via satellites possible. It's great that ABN AMRO and QuTech, with their knowledge of laser communication, can now make an significant contribution to the security systems for internet and mobile banking. A great opportunity to position the Netherlands and Europe and, at the same time, an important step towards demonstrating that laser satellite communication can become a vital part of the future quantum communication infrastructure."
QuTech, TNO Space and ABN AMRO expect to be able to demonstrate a fundamentally secure data connection by the end of 2020, with quantum communication via both fibre optics and air.
For the press release go to this page.
More information about Qutech