The Race to Quantum Encryption

As the NSA continues its inevitable march towards total information domination, it’s becoming increasingly clear that the number of years we left have before standard encryption methods can’t keep up is getting smaller by the minute.

That’s where quantum key distribution comes in, or QKD for short. QKD is a brand new method of employing quantum mechanics to digital security, creating an encryption key so complex that it would take the fastest supercomputer ever built 10,000 years to come within a mile of cracking it. By exploiting a phenomena known as “entanglement”, researchers are able to create a link between two photons simply by forcing them together at a single point.

The QKD works through exciting each, one on the end of the sender, the other with the receiver, and after entanglement is achieved both photons are encoded with a specialized key and beamed through a standard fiber optic cable. An independent system designed to recognize the compatible signals from each side of the equation then verifies the signal, and the transmission is complete.

Batelle was able to accomplish this feat through a collaboration with quantum technology firm Quantique, based out of Geneva, Switzerland. Together they were able to combine Batelle’s knowledge of internet security with Quantique’s extensive research on quantum computing, in order to create an method of securing data that was stronger than anything else the world has seen to date.

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I don’t know that everyone will [adopt QKD], but I do think that companies and organizations that have very high-value data will,” Hayford says. “If it’s short-term data or low-value data, then who cares? But if it’s data that you want to protect for years, this makes a lot of sense. I think you’ll see this distributed across the country to protect that high-value, long-duration data. We think this is the future.

Quantum keys are still a long way from being the standard method of encryption however, and until then securing your data behind a thick layer of jumbled code should be a top priority to keep it hidden from anyone who wasn’t originally invited to the party. TrueCrypt is a proven way to encrypt all your data in one fell swoop, with an update system that will automatically recognize when new files are being added and zip them up according to your designated preferences. Head on over to their page and start your free trial today!