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ADVA plays key role in new QKD projects to accelerate commercial rollout

News summary:

  • The emergence of quantum computers poses a major risk to public key cryptography
  • Industry-led projects are laying the foundation for robust, cost-effective and deployable QKD technology
  • Using ADVA’s ConnectGuard™ solution, the initiatives enable quantum-safe communication at scale over installed fiber infrastructure

ADVA (FSE: ADV) today announced that it’s playing a key role in three research and development (R&D) projects building future-proof secure communication networks based on quantum key distribution (QKD). Funded by Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the initiatives aim to address the significant cybersecurity threat posed by quantum hacking and create the next generation of quantum-safe transport infrastructure with technology made in Germany. In cooperation with other consortium partners, ADVA will accelerate the commercial adoption of QKD technology by making it deployable at scale, robust and easy to integrate.

“The looming threat of large quantum computers puts our most sensitive data at risk. There’s also the immediate danger of cybercriminals harvesting encrypted information now so they can decrypt it when quantum computers become accessible. This is why the switch to quantum-safe encryption is essential for the long-term security of critical data. QKD is based on quantum technology and protects the key exchange between communication endpoints. Even if there is future progress in decryption algorithms and computational capabilities, either classical or quantum, an adversary cannot intercept the keys,” said Michael Roth, GM at Network Security, ADVA. “We understand the requirements of both the quantum and the communication world. By lending our technology and know-how, we’re bridging the gap between them. The BMBF-funded initiatives we’re involved in will make QKD usable for commercial and government customers. Together with our partners, we’re moving this technology to the next level for robust, seamless deployment at scale in today’s optical networks.”

QKD offers a way to achieve true long-term network security today.
Helmut Griesser, director of advanced technology at ADVA

Each of the three projects involves a consortium of industry and research partners with leading expertise in quantum technologies, cryptography, optical communication, and network operation. Coordinated by Deutsche Telekom, the DemoQuanDT project will demonstrate secure quantum key exchange over a fiber optic link between Berlin and Bonn and investigate key management in a multi-vendor environment. Led by Infosim, the QuNet+ML project will research methods for optimizing quantum key distribution in large-scale networks using machine learning. And finally, the DE-QOR project led by ADVA will develop compact and cost-effective continuous-variable QKD (CV-QKD) technology compatible with existing metro and long-distance fiber infrastructure.

“QKD offers a way to achieve true long-term network security today. In just a few years, we’re likely to see current public key cryptosystems rendered obsolete by malicious actors with quantum computers, whether that’s criminal organizations seeking profit or state-sponsored actors aiming to infiltrate critical national infrastructure. It’s therefore crucial that we harness quantum technology quickly in order to stay ahead in the cybersecurity race. Our involvement in these latest BMBF projects is testament to ADVA’s role as a leader in this vital R&D space,” commented Helmut Griesser, director of advanced technology at ADVA. “From day one, our ConnectGuard™ encryption technology has been at the forefront of quantum-safe communication by offering an open, standards-based interface to external QKD systems. Leveraging our expertise in coherent transmission, digital signal processing and cryptography, we’re now working towards our own CV-QKD solution to give customers more choice.”