KPN to implement quantum encrypted connection (QKD)


KPN has implemented end-to-end quantum key distribution (QKD) in its network between KPN datacenters in The Hague and Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

KPN is collaborating with ID Quantique, a Swiss company specialized in quantum encryption. Using quantum key distribution will add an unmatched level of security for the sending of confidential information. In the coming years, KPN will further research and implement possibilities of post quantum encryption. “Improving online safety is a top priority for KPN, not only by providing secure networks and systems for customers, also by continuously innovating with the latest advancements in science and technology including quantum," said Jaya Baloo, Chief Information Security Officer at KPN. "The arrival of quantum computers will ultimately render much of today's encryption unsafe. The quantum computer is capable of solving difficult mathematical problems exponentially quicker. Problems which would now take vast amounts of time, such as factoring attacks on encryption algorithms, would get a huge speed boost. This means that companies and organizations need to start thinking about new strategies for cryptography, such as increasing encryption key length, using QKD, and also developing and implementing post quantum cryptographic algorithms.”

Quantum information cannot be copied and eavesdroppers or hackers can be detected on the quantum link where the encryption key is exchanged. Quantum key distribution in the network enables the continuous generation and sharing of truly random keys which are then used for data encryption. The increase of the security of the encryption of highly sensitive and confidential information helps customers of KPN to achieve unmatched security for the transmission of confidential and sensitive information.

Kelly Richdale, VP Quantum Safe Security at ID Quantique said: "Where conventional cryptography is based on mathematical principles, quantum cryptography is based on quantum mechanical principles. This gives the ability to protect information across the network between data centers with a provably high level of assurance into the future, even after the advent of a quantum computer."

Today quantum encryption is also on the agenda during Quantum Europe 2016, a conference on quantum technology under the Dutch EU Presidency in 2016. During this conference, Kelly Richdale of ID Quantique will be talking about quantum key distribution. During the event a Manifesto will be presented containing a comprehensive strategy for Europe to stay at the forefront of this emerging technology.