Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) and Post-Quantum Cryptography (PQC)

Today the quantum attacks threat is a real danger.

The protection of data and communications is linked to technologies that give future-proof answers, capable of thwarting threats with still partially unknown potential.

In this context, quantum-resistant solutions are needed to offer superior protection, bypassing the logic of traditional security protocols.


QKD and PQC: the context

The security of today’s cryptographic algorithms is computational, so it is based on the assumption that solving some mathematical problems is impractical for a computer.

Unfortunately, some of these assumptions, which are fundamental to today’s cryptography, fall when a quantum computer scenario is considered.

Therefore, given the developments of this technology, it is necessary to design new cryptographic schemes not impacted by the quantum computation model. To do this, there are two approaches: QKD and PQC.

The first approach is Quantum Key Distribution (QKD): a technology based on quantum mechanics that provides unconditional security, independent of the computation model considered.

The second approach is Post-Quantum Cryptography (PQC): classical cryptographic schemes whose security is based on problems considered resistant even to quantum computers.


Quantum Key Distribution (QKD)

QKD is a physical layer method that allows an unconditional secure distribution of random keys between remote users. These (secret) keys can then be used by existing ciphers.

In brief, QKD is a method that exploits the physical properties of photons to distribute secret keys to ongoing communication participants.

Given the extreme sensitivity of photons, the slightest perturbation in the communication channel (due, for example, to an eavesdropper that intervenes between the communicators to exfiltrate sensitive or confidential information) causes the system to discard the compromised key, stopping the communication themselves and making impossible any theft of data or information.


The Post-Quantum Cryptography (PQC)

Post-Quantum Cryptography (PQC) is a mathematical response that identifies new mathematical problems, not vulnerable to quantum algorithms, which can be used within public-key cryptographic schemes.

Post-Quantum Cryptography, therefore, refers to the development of cryptographic systems, interoperating with existing communications protocols, adequate to face the threats posed by quantum, and also classical, computers.

Consequently, the PQC guarantees information security without intervening in existing infrastructures, making the transition to quantum-resistant cryptographic solutions possible on a large scale in the short to medium term.


QKD and PQC: the Telsy’s integration

For years, Telsy has constantly been innovating its product lines and implementing technologies by introducing a smart perspective in developing products and processes meant to bring value to the partners.

Telsy’s R&D area is engaged in the study of highly innovative and strategic topics in cryptography, cybersecurity, and quantum technologies fields, applying to national and European calls by constantly collaborating with prominent academic institutions in thesis writing, internships, and PhDs, as well as in the organization of scientific and general conferences and webinars.

Together with its public and private partners, Telsy takes the field in post-quantum technologies to overcome the great threat exposed since the advent of quantum computers, developing solutions designed for future-proof security.

Telsy and QTI (a Telsy participated company, leader in quantum communication technologies) present their Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) system, to overcome the problem exposed by classic and quantum cyber attacks.

This integration with Telsy’s classic encryptors, already compatible with Post-Quantum Cryptography solutions, and the Quantum Key Distribution systems developed by QTI ensures a fully reliable end-to-end encryption system, compatible with the current telecommunications infrastructure for private and government applications.