Securing Optical Networks in the Quantum Era

Most optical networks require long-term protection of their mission critical data. For instance, data centers have become a fundamental part of society and a vital component of most businesses and optical networks play a critical role for interconnecting data centers. However, recent progress on quantum computing puts the security of encrypted information exchange at stake. Fiber optic links are susceptible to data harvesting attacks since classical key exchange protocols can be recorded now and broken later, once large-scale quantum computers become a reality.

Quantum key distribution (QKD) does not allow to record the secret key information due to the laws of quantum mechanics. Therefore, QKD is the only true key-exchange mechanism that provides true long-term security against quantum computers, but also against any progress in mathematics or classical computing that might weaken the security of algorithmic key exchange.

ADVA is developing the technology that allows to use quantum keys for encrypting high speed optical signals and achieve long-term security for the critical data.

A 10Gbps encrypting muxponder with quantum key interface (ETSI GS QKD 014) released by Santa Claus just in time before Christmas. It is a safe assumption that he is using newest technology to safeguard the highly secret wish lists of millions of children.