Keeping sensitive information out of the hands of malicious individuals is one of the most important aspects of business today. Chief information officers constantly need to be on their toes, auditing internal operations and ensuring employees are following best practices to keep records safe. Traditionally, decision-makers and IT departments would deploy encryption technologies, scrambling data that could only be deciphered after inputting a password. However, older encryption models are evolving and becoming more complex to keep out hackers.
According to University of Toronto professor Hoi-Kwong Lo and his team of researchers, advancements in quantum encryption will be the final nail in the hacker coffin, ultimately disabling them from illegally accessing confidential records for profit or other reasons. Quantum cryptography is the use of quantum mechanics to keep unwanted outsiders away from sensitive information. The new method of data security, which was developed by Lo and his team, ensures that all unauthorized visits are detected.
Lo's quantum encryption has the ability to catch eavesdroppers viewing encoded information and inform the legitimate user of their presence through a series of disturbances that only authorized parties can pick up. This means that businesses can safely share sensitive information with a third party, even in the presence of a hacker.
The encryption key for these technologies consists of light signals, rather than long and complex passwords containing a variety of characters. Traditionally, malicious outsiders could pick up these signals and distort them, ultimately changing what the third party sees.
"Photon detectors have turned out to be an Achilles' heel for quantum key distribution (QKD), inadvertently opening the door to subtle side-channel attacks, most famously quantum hacking," said quantum cryptography co-inventor Charles Bennett.
Lo's research team has solved this problem by developing the "measurement device independent quantum key distribution" method.
This new process allows the company sending the information to relay data through a third party before being directed to the target. If it is picked up and manipulated by a hacker, then the two legitimate users can compare information with the third party's stored records to determine if any changes were made.
"A surprising feature is that [the third party's] detectors can be arbitrarily flawed without compromising security," Lo said. "This is because, provided that [the business] and [its intended target's] signal preparation processes are correct, they can verify whether [an outsider] or [the third party] is trustworthy through the correlations in their own data following any interaction with [the outsider and the relay station]."
According to a report by Market Research Media, quantum cryptography will be the key to communication data protection. As a result, it will make up the bulk of the evolving quantum computing market, which is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate of more than 10 percent through 2020 and eventually generate $26 billion in revenue. Because of quantum cryptography's data-centric approach to keeping information secure, it is being sought after by research and development teams around the world.
As the threat landscape becomes more dangerous, the need for effective data protection solutions grows. While encryption solutions may keep sensitive information safe, it isn't always effective against knowledgeable and skilled hackers.
Quantum cryptography may be the answer to these growing concerns, as it allows businesses to see if any unauthorized individuals are monitoring the transference of information. This technology also allows organizations to communicate data even in compromisable conditions, meaning hackers can't disrupt productivity, which is especially important in today's cutthroat business world.
Data Security News from SimplySecurity.com by Trend Micro