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Can Quantum Key Distribution improve cybersecurity in SEA?

Definition of Quantum Key Distribution (QKD)

Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) is a highly secured method that employs a cryptographic system based on quantum physics. The approach trades cryptographic keys that are secure and can be shown using features from quantum physics.

Quantum computing, sensing, modeling, and communications are the four key themes covered by the EU’s Quantum Flagship initiative. Data security and protection are two of the main issues with quantum computing. While quantum computing is often considered the most serious danger to data security, it will certainly have an impact on cybersecurity in the future.

How does Quantum computing work?

The principles of quantum computing suggest that present security mechanisms might be hacked considerably faster. Nowadays, traditional computers process data using bits that correspond to ones or zeros. Quantum computers employ quantum bits, or qubits, which may be changed to one, zero, or both simultaneously. Dealing with bits that may exist in two states at the same time, along with entanglement, allows for substantially faster decryption.

While not part of the mainstream, quantum computing has the potential to undermine cybersecurity in everyday life, posing a danger to confidential personal information and digital documents. The goal of malicious actors collecting encrypted data is to hack it with quantum computers. This could make digital documents more vulnerable and perhaps compromise all types of encryption, like the RSA code generated using Peter W. Shor’s algorithm.

How does QKD improve security?

QKD is a highly secured method that encrypts data using quantum mechanics, assuring the detection of all infiltration and hacking attempts. The receiver detects the polarization of each photon and communicates it to the transmitter, bypassing millions of polarized light particles, or photons, via a fibre optic. The resulting bit sequence serves as a one-of-a-kind optical key for encrypting data. This approach is very safe since it employs quantum physics rules, ensuring that any infiltration attempt is recognized.

QKD’s extraordinarily high degree of security may be appealing to companies in a variety of sectors that must manage highly confidential information. It is easy to picture it being used in banking and other financial services, as well as government connections in organizations like the police or the military.

The main challenge to Quantum Key Distribution

The integration of the system into existing infrastructures and the application of QKD itself has proven to be the primary implementation challenges for quantum key distribution. In spite of the fact that it is theoretically safe, there are certain weaknesses, notably in terms of infrastructure.

Several difficulties remain to be solved

Quantum networks are now being tested and analyzed on a regional basis. For a variety of reasons, long-distance quantum networks remain rare.

For starters, the technology required to construct a quantum network is too expensive.

Second, current network equipment, such as repeaters, is incompatible with quantum technology. Third, qubits employ a very weak signal that is extremely vulnerable to noise or other environmental disturbances. To expand the range of this technology, trusted nodes are required. This method has been employed for long-distance QKD networks in China, Korea, and the United Kingdom. Quantum communications uses low-earth orbit satellites to relay encrypted signals to ground-based stations, as they are a more practical choice for long-distance communications.


Quantum computing has both risks and benefits. It is an evolutionary, existential danger to some types of current encryption, but solutions are accessible and prepared for deployment. On the other side, it provides the opportunity to achieve nearly impenetrable security and privacy.