Ciena, Toshiba demo quantum-safe network – TelecomTV

2 minutes, 44 seconds Read

The quantum computing era and its upsides and downsides might still be years away, but the threat to communications network security set to be posed by cyber criminals armed with quantum computers is already being addressed by multiple telcos and vendors, with Ciena and Toshiba the latest to team up and show off their quantum-safe networking capabilities. 

Quantum-safe networking – also known as quantum-secure networking, quantum-resistant networking and post-quantum networking – is still in its relative infancy but is already being used in some ground-breaking rollouts, such as the commercial deployment in the UK by BT in partnership with Toshiba, which the UK operator boasted was a “world first” – see BT boasts quantum security breakthrough with Toshiba, EY.

Now Toshiba has teamed up with optical networking giant Ciena to show off the capabilities of a quantum-secure link at the OFC trade show in San Jose, California, where the two companies have connected their respective booths

using quantum key distribution (QKD) trusted node and multiplexing technology that can secure network traffic running over fibres deployed for the trade show’s OFCnet infrastructure.

According to the partners, which previously teamed up for a proof of concept (PoC) with JPMorgan in 2022, the demonstration “will validate how quantum keys generated by Toshiba QKD devices can be used to encrypt data using Ciena’s Waveserver 5 to securely send data in a multilink environment, over two links in three locations, using a ‘trusted node.’ Secure keys for end to end are relayed at the trusted node.”

“The rise of quantum computing has serious implications for current security methods and organisations need to take action now to mitigate risks to their communications,” noted Andrew Shields, head of Toshiba Europe’s quantum technology division, in this announcement. “Validating the ability of our QKD technology to protect transmissions while using existing fibre networks is a huge step forward in making quantum-secure communications accessible for today’s organisations,” he added. 

Shinya Murai, senior fellow at Toshiba Digital Solutions Corporation, Toshiba’s digital and quantum technology business arm, stated: “This demonstration will show that our Quantum Key Management System (Q-KMS)” can help to “create secure networks and to protect multiple sites and locations.” Murai added that Q-KMS performs proactive key allocation based on the QKD network capacity in real time, enabling “high volume and low latency key delivery”.

And the threat isn’t just one for the future, the partners noted: Current data is susceptible to ‘harvest-now, decrypt-later’ attacks, “where an adversary can store encrypted messages today, to later decrypt when a large-scale quantum processor becomes available. This is particularly problematic for information with a long-term value, such as financial records, medical data, corporate intellectual property or details of a nation’s critical infrastructure,” noted the vendors. 

To counter this, quantum-safe capabilities can be deployed today, according to Patrick Scully, director of product line management at Ciena. “To address the immediate threat posed by quantum computers from potential harvest-now, decrypt-later attack methods, Ciena’s Waveserver 5 delivers a FIPS 140-3 level 2-compliant solution, enabling 800G of encrypted capacity, using an innovative optical encryption approach that allows service providers to deploy quantum resistance today straight out of the box,” he noted. 

Other companies are also already addressing the needs of the quantum-safe networking era – see:

– Ray Le Maistre, Editorial Director, TelecomTV

This post was originally published on the 3rd party site mentioned in the title of this this site

Similar Posts