Digital QKD to the Rescue: Saving Tomorrow’s Global Economy Today

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Quantum key distribution, or QKD, is touted by some as the future of cybersecurity. It promises impenetrable protection from quantum threats over indefinite time frames, potentially meaning that you could switch to QKD and forget about data breaches for good.

In reality though, QKD isn’t as perfect as some may lead you to believe. While promising, it suffers from a whole slew of issues, one of which is its challenging deployment. There are some other problems with QKD as well that may prevent it from becoming a popular way of protecting data.

With all that said, there’s one variant of QKD that solves many of the issues of regular QKD technologies: digital QKD.

What’s digital QKD, how does it work, and how is it better than other forms of QKD? Read on to find out.

Why Standard QKD Doesn’t Cut It

Before we take a look at digital QKD, let’s have a quick recap of standard QKD technologies. QKD exploits the properties of quantum mechanics and encodes data as qubits. To convert classical bits to qubits and the other way around, QKD relies on photon emitters and receivers. And to exchange the qubits between parties, QKD requires optical fiber cables.

Because QKD works with quantum mechanics rather than math problems (like PQC and classical cryptography do), it’s theoretically protected by the laws of nature. A properly implemented QKD system cannot be infiltrated or cracked with quantum computers, no matter how much power they get.

This sounds great on paper, but QKD has some serious disadvantages. Most relevant to us now, “standard” QKD is purely a physical technology. Unlike PQC, you cannot deliver QKD to your existing network infrastructure via software updates. To protect your corporate network, you must deploy dedicated hardware to support QKD.

Then, there’s also the issue of limited range. With standard optical fiber, QKD can operate reliably at distances of just tens of kilometers. At longer ranges, you’re going to start losing a lot of information.

Low-loss optical fiber can somewhat mitigate this issue, but only up to a point. You are still looking at ranges no longer than a few hundred kilometers. To reliably extend communication ranges further, we need quantum repeaters, which aren’t a thing yet.

For sizeable organizations, setting up QKD communications might involve tens or even hundreds of kilometers of optical fiber cabling. Combine this with the lasers to emit and receive photons, and you’re probably looking at a multi-million project. Not only that, but planning a transition from classical public-key cryptography is a huge challenge of its own.

With all that in mind, classical QKD technologies are extremely inefficient on an organization-wide scale.

Enter Digital QKD with SEQUR™ SynQK

To fully address the issues of QKD while keeping its advantages, Quantropi’s has developed SEQUR™. One of Quantropi’s three TrUE technologies, SEQUR™ provides quantum-safe key generation and digital distribution functionality.

SynQK is the component of SEQUR™ that enables digital quantum key distribution, or D-QKD. To streamline integration into environments supporting the OpenQKD standard, SynQK digital QKD has been designed to comply with the ETSI-014 standard for quantum key distribution.

Why is SynQK D-QKD better than standard QKD technologies? Here are the three main benefits of using Quantropi’s proprietary tech over “vanilla” QKD.

Cost-effective Deployment

SynQK can be deployed to any existing network infrastructure. SynQK delivers quantum key distribution to enterprise networks digitally, eliminating the need for dedicated fiber connections. But perhaps more importantly, there is no need to use special “quantum-ready” hardware to exploit the benefits of QKD – SynQK supports any classical device, be it a laptop or a cell phone.

Effortless Wired and Wireless Coverage

SEQUR™ SynQK supports not only wired but also wireless networks, allowing you to ensure full coverage of your corporate network. No matter where your devices are – on or off premises – they can leverage the benefits of digital entropy distribution for increased protection.

Increased Range

SynQK can operate at far longer ranges than standard QKD. In 2022, Quantropi collaborated with German telecommunications company Deutsche Telekom to benchmark SynQK. The results were more than impressive – SynQK was able to seamlessly run at least 5 simultaneous quantum-key streams at distances from 4,000 to 15,000 kilometers. Communication speeds were recorded at 130-190 megabits per second, exceeding the key exchange rates of all other solutions.

Get End-to-End Quantum-Safe Protection with TrUE Technologies

SEQUR™ is part of QiSpace™ – Quantropi’s flagship quantum-safe enterprise solution. QiSpace™ is the only platform in the industry that conforms to the TrUE pillars of quantum cybersecurity, providing end-to-end quantum-safe protection to enterprise infrastructures. Starting from quantum key generation and ending with securing data at rest and in transit, QiSpace™ has got you covered.

Alongside SEQUR™, QiSpace™ offers quantum-safe symmetric encryption with QEEP™ and quantum-safe asymmetric encryption with MASQ™. QEEP™ is up to 18 times faster and up to 95% more efficient than 256-bit AES while being at least as secure. MASQ™ provides a novel PQC algorithm developed by Quantropi that is much more efficient than NIST candidates. To ensure peace of mind for customers, MASQ™ will also include NIST-standardized PQC systems, starting with the first four algorithms that were approved in July 2022.

To learn more about Quantropi’s cryptographic solutions, contact us today!

Quantum-secure any application, product, network, or device with the QiSpace™ platform — without having to sacrifice performance or make major investments in new technology or infrastructure. See for yourself how only QiSpace™ offers TrUE quantum security via all three essential cryptographic functions. Leverage asymmetric encryption algorithms (the “Trust” or “Tr” of “TrUE”) via MASQ™, symmetric encryption (“U” for “Uncertainty”) via QEEP™ and strong random numbers (“E” for “Entropy”) via SEQUR™.  Make it TrUE with QiSpace™ — and protect your business, brand, and customer promise. Now and forever. 

To learn more about our quantum-secure solutions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our experts!

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Patricio Mariaca

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Eric Chan

Eric Chan a.k.a. EEPMON is a Crypto / Digital Artist with 15 years in the industry – and Quantropi’s Creative Emissary. His hybrid fractal/digital creations have been seen in fashion, comics to museums and has exhibited worldwide. EEPMON’s collaborations include Canada Goose, MARVEL, Snoopy, Microsoft Xbox, Canada Science & Technology Museum and was a TEDx performing artist. In 2018 he represented Canada on its first Creative Industries Trade Mission led by Canada’s Minister of Heritage and serves on the Canadian Museums Association‘s Board of Directors. At the same time, he is currently completing his Master of Information Technology – Digital Media at Carleton University. 

Dafu Lou

Dafu is Quantropi’s Director of engineering. Prior to Quantropi, he served as a technical leader at Irdeto, a world-leading provider of digital platform security software, where he was responsible for white-box cryptography, cloaked CA secure core, and iOS/android application protection services, among others. Prior to Irdeto, Dafu served as a senior software engineer at SecureNex Systems, where he led the implementation of an SSL-VPN solution and ECC-based secure data storage & PKI. He earned his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Ottawa in 2009. Dafu is also a part-time professor, teaching VLSI, Cryptography and other subjects at uOttawa.

Pauline Arnold

As James Nguyen’s EA, Pauline Arnold brings more than 40 years of experience in complementary customer service and administrative roles. Prior to Quantropi, she served 20 years as Branch Manager and an assistant in investments, and over 20 years at Metropolitan Life Canada in various aspects of the insurance sector – assisting clients, management and colleagues to complete tasks, solve problems, address questions and achieve goals. She also worked part-time for Royal Lepage Performance for 5+ years as a receptionist & admin, and for 5 years was chair of the TKFG’s charity golf tournament.

Bond Vo

Bond Vo is the Business Analyst of Quantropi. Along with Quantropi, Bond has been dynamic in accordance with a fast and evolving startup environment and is responsible in a wide range of areas including market research, funding, and more involved in the controller roles to oversee day to day accounting operation as well as build financing models and budget to achieve company’s ultimate goals/objectives. Bond has applied best practices consistently and successfully supports equity, debt, and non-dilutive funding for Quantropi since joint the team. He earned a Bachelor of Commerce concentrated in Finance from Carleton University. Outside of his professional career, Bond also participated in volunteer for the Vietnamese Immigration Student Association (VISA) to help and support students as well as newcomers in Canada.

Tina Wang

Tina develops websites and participates in a range of different projects, using new frameworks for front-end UI, along with Vuejs, Angula, Beego, Ruby on Rails, and Electron. She developed Quantropi’s desktop CipherSpace application by integrating Electron, Webassembly and Go, to ensure a good user experience, as well as perfect operating system compatibility. She is also part of the dynamic and efficient QKD-NODE project team. Tina is always looking for new ways to increase her knowledge, improve her technological proficiency and enhance her strong execution and implementation skills. Prior to Quantropi, Tina served as a full-stack web developer at Sunny Future, where she maintained a WordPress home site and managed the release of new content for the company.

Nick Kuang

As VP Corporate Services, Nick plans, directs and coordinates a wide range of activities aimed at achieving Quantropi’s vision of the Quantum Internet. He has a keen interest in transformative technologies and the possibilities they offer for bettering our everyday lives. A pharmacist by training, Nick nurtures teams with a focus on integrity and collaborative effort, coupled with strong attention to detail. With prior experience in a successful biotech start-up developing point-of-care test kits, he enjoys the fast pace and challenge of the start-up environment.

Alex He

Alex is a product-oriented project manager who bridges the gaps between the company’s engineering and commercial teams. He has over ten years of experience in the analysis, design and development of enterprise-class applications, with a particular focus on creating optimal user experiences (UX). Ever passionate about cybersecurity solutions that can deliver solid security without unreasonably sacrificing customer convenience, Alex is the lead inventor of a registered patent on user interface security. He is committed to helping ensure that the Agile software engineering team at Quantropi delivers consistently high-quality, high crypto-agility cybersecurity solutions for next-generation communications.

Michael Redding

Before joining Quantropi, Mike was Managing Director and co-founder of Accenture Ventures, where he grew a global portfolio of strategic partnerships and 38 equity investments in emerging technology startups.

During his nearly 30 years with Accenture, he incubated and launched technology innovations for enterprises across multiple geographies and industries. Ever-passionate about bold ideas with game-changing results, he speaks frequently on the impact of emerging technology on large organizations.

With a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from Princeton, and a Master’s in Biomedical Engineering from Northwestern, Mike is a former member of the Board of Directors for the Accenture Foundation and Board Observer for startups Maana and Splice Machine.

Raj Narula, P.Eng.

A seasoned technology executive, business builder and angel investor, Raj has held operational and advisory roles in Recognia (Trading Central), Belair Networks (Ericsson), March Networks (Infinova), Sandvine (Procera), Neurolanguage (ADEC), Bridgewater Systems (Amdocs), Vayyoo (Cafex), TenXc (CCI), 1Mobility (Qualys) and others. Having divided his time among North America, EMEA and Asia-Pac for over 20 years, Raj speaks several languages. He grew up in Asia, Europe, South America and Canada, and holds a B.Eng degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Ottawa. He is also a co-founder and Charter Member of the Ottawa chapter of TiE (the Indus Entrepreneur).

Ken Dobell

Ken leads marketing strategy at Quantropi. In high demand as a consultant with 25 years’ experience in performance media and an award- winning creative background, he has completed successful transformations, (re)branding and product development mandates with KPMG, Keurig, Fidelity, Eddyfi, Coveo, and more, and provides digital advice to the CMA. Previously, Ken pivoted an offline advertising brokerage to a leading-edge, data-driven performance agency as President of DAC Digital, held a progression of international leadership roles with, pioneered a range of multi-channel initiatives as VP Marketing with a global franchisor, and introduced a mobile-first programmatic media offering to Canada within WPP.

Cory Michalyshyn

Cory brings a breadth of experience to the Quantropi team, working fractionally with multiple SaaS technology companies as CFO, and as the CFO with Celtic House Venture Partners. Prior to these roles, Cory was CFO and COO at Solink, and played a lead role in the metrics-led pivot to a direct-sales SaaS model, followed by multiple VC-backed funding rounds and their recognition as one of the fastest growing start-ups in Canada. He qualified as a CPA while serving technology, VC & PE-fund clients at Deloitte, and earned his Bachelor of Commerce at Queen’s University.

Dr. Randy Kuang

Randy holds a doctorate in quantum physics. His research findings have been published in top international journals and named “Kuang’s semi-classical formalism” by NASA in 2012. With a career spanning IT, including with Nortel as senior network researcher & developer, he co-founded inBay Technologies in 2009, serving as CTO of the cybersecurity platform. As the first recipient of a patent for two-level authentication (2011), Randy is a prolific inventor, with 30+ U.S. patents in broad technology fields, such as WiMAX, optical networks, multi-factor identity authentication, transaction authorization, as well as concepts, technologies and industrial applications for quantum key distribution.

James Nguyen

Prior to leading Quantropi, James was Chief Investment Officer & VP Asia Operations for a group of private and public real estate, mining, energy storage, graphene technologies and manufacturing interests, where, in his responsibilities for strategy, banking and global expansions, he secured large-scale investments and partnerships for commercializing graphene applications across multiple industries. A graduate of Carleton in Economics, he previously achieved success managing a mid-market portfolio (professional services, public sector, Asian markets) at RBC for over a decade. James has been on the HKCBA board, held advisory positions with technology start-ups and gives back as volunteer, fundraiser and mentor.