12 May 2023
Fibre QKD: Revolutionising Security in the Digital Age
SPTel and SpeQtral announced on 10 Nov 2022 their success on initial trials toward setting up Quantum-Secure Networks on SPTel’s diverse fibre network, in the first among such trials in Singapore. SpeQtral conducted the trial using ST Engineering’s quantum-enabled encryptors and Toshiba Digital Solutions’ (“Toshiba”) Quantum Key Distribution (“QKD”) system over SPTel’s diverse fibre network. The successful trial paves the way for robustly secure digital communications.
QKD focuses on securing communications through the distribution of encryption keys. These keys are particularly sensitive and distributed via light particles. Users will know when the encryption keys distributed via QKD are tampered by unauthorised parties or obtained by eavesdroppers. ST Engineering’s comprehensive suite of Common Criteria Certified Encryptors has been designed to fit seamlessly to protect any operating architecture. While the encryption relies on keys to be distributed to each encryptor, the traditional mathematical-based key distribution technology may be vulnerable to attacks from quantum computers. QKD is a proven technology to mitigate this.
This successful trial validates the operations of Toshiba’s QKD technology on a single pair of SPTel fibre, as well as its interfacing with the key retrieval process of ST Engineering’s quantum-enabled encryptors. It demonstrates the stability of key distribution rates and the robustness of the key distribution processes. Any attempts to eavesdrop will result in detectable anomalies and render these keys invalid, ensuring that distributed keys always remain secret between sending and receiving parties.
The success in the additional test to multiplex SPTel’s Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (“DWDM”) data [transmitted over 1550nm (C-Band)] and QKD channels over a single pair of SPTel fibre across 55km also paves the way for the integration of QKD to SPTel’s high-capacity Data Centre Interconnect (“DCI”) services available across all major commercial data centres, to provide customers with quantum-safe data transmission for highly secure applications. To date, SPTel has connected 90% of Singapore’s commercial data centres. By saving on the need to have a separate fibre for QKD signals, SPTel delivers a more cost effective QKD-enabled network for customers.
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