In the context of a global environment that is becoming more interconnected all the time, data has emerged as a resource that is highly prized and valuable. The exponential growth of digital technology and the Internet has led to a significant increase in the amount of data that is transmitted, retained, and traded. Nevertheless, the arrival of the digital age has presented challenges that have never been seen before, particularly with regards to the protection of data and the maintenance of individuals’ right to personal privacy.
Conventional encryption methods, despite possessing a certain level of efficacy, are currently facing the threat posed by sophisticated hacking methodologies which can compromise confidential data. Hacking methodologies that are powered by quantum computing are expected to devastate conventional encryption methods. The emergence of Quantum Internet Exchanges is a revolutionary concept that has the potential to usher in a new era of secure data transmission.
The emergence of Quantum Internet Exchanges is a harbinger of profound change in the realm of data communication and information security. Quantum networks make use of the unique properties of quantum bits, also referred to as qubits, in contrast to traditional communication networks, which are reliant on classical bits for the transmission and storage of information.
Because of a phenomenon known as superposition, qubits have the capacity to hold multiple states at the same time. In addition, qubits have the property known as “entanglement,” which denotes that the state of one qubit is inextricably connected to the state of another qubit, despite the fact that the two qubits may be physically separated by considerable distances.
The “no-cloning theorem” is a property that forms the basis of Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) protocols. These protocols provide a mechanism for securely distributing quantum keys. In the context of traditional communication, eavesdropping can take place when a person with malicious intent intercepts and reads the information that is being transmitted.
Potential of QKD
Today, Quantum Key Distribution, which has the potential to enable impervious data transmission, relies on the measurement of the quantum state of photons. It is not possible to eavesdrop on a key exchange encoded in the quantum state of photons without the two exchanging parties being able to recognise this intervention.
Therefore, Quantum Key Distribution makes eavesdropping of key exchanges physically impossible and can thus remove a large amount of complexity from today’s encryption ecosystem. At the same time, encryption will become secure against attempts to break the encryption with quantum computers. Given these properties, it becomes possible to safely trade cryptographic keys with others.
Quantum Internet Exchanges have a significant amount of untapped potential; however, it is essential to keep in mind that this technology is still in very early stages of research and development at the moment.
The development of a practical quantum apparatus and the maintenance of complex entangled states over great distances are two of the significant technical challenges that must be overcome before a quantum communication network can be created and used. In addition, the integration of quantum networks into classical infrastructure that already exists presents its own unique set of challenges.
Despite all of these obstacles, there is reason to be optimistic about the future of quantum communication. It is anticipated that robust quantum networks will be established in the near future as a result of the ongoing advancements in research and development. These networks will provide an unrivalled level of security for the transfer and communication of data. These networks are, however, limited to very low bandwidth use cases.
As a result, there are unlikely, in the foreseeable future, to replace existing communications networks within companies or in other areas. Rather, these highly secure networks could be used to the transferal of keys for the encrypted communications that are sent over traditional high bandwidth network technology.
Therefore, Quantum Internet Exchanges are likely to be built in parallel to, or on top of, existing Internet Exchanges, enabling networks to interconnect to exchange, on the one hand, encrypted data and communications, and on the other hand, the keys required to unlock that data. Building such technology on top of existing Internet Exchanges has the advantage that the networks are already aggregated in one location. The combination of traditional networks and quantum networks in this way will revolutionise IT security, protecting confidential data in transit and ensuring only the legitimate recipient of that data is able to access it.
The introduction of Quantum Internet Exchanges is a development that has the potential to be very beneficial in a time when the protection of data is of the utmost significance. In the realm of data transmission, the revolutionary concepts of quantum entanglement, the quantum state of photons, and superposition open the door to new avenues of possibility for achieving previously unattainable levels of data security.
For the purpose of effectively sculpting a future digital landscape that is both secure and interconnected, the successful development of quantum communication requires the active participation and cooperation of researchers, businesses, and policymakers.
DE-CIX is already working extensively on the research and development many such futuristic solutions relating to the flow of data across the global Internet and the exchange of data between networks. With a fully-fledged Research & Development team, the company is well-equipped to support innovative technologies and work towards their implementation in real-world scenarios.
DE-CIX R&D team considers technological trends such as SDN, NFV, 5G, cloud, Big Data, and Internet of Things, and their impact on the interconnection landscape, and keeps abreast of new trends as they arise.
DE-CIX R&D team is already involved in an EU government-funded research project into Quantum Key Distribution. Now, the company has also begun researching the potential and development of Quantum Internet Exchanges and is looking forward to being able to develop highly secure data exchange solutions on the basis of this very exciting technology.
— Sudhir Kunder, Chief Business Officer, DE-CIX India.