Defence invests $3.26m in quantum encryption

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Tuesday, 18 July, 2017

Defence invests $3.26m in quantum encryption

The Australian Department of Defence will invest a further $3.26 million in Canberra-based QuintessenceLabs to allow it to continue its research into quantum key distribution (QKD).

The investment from the Defence Innovation Hub will be used to develop a sovereign Australian QKD solution based on the company’s existing off-the-shelf product-based QKD offering.

Defence plans to use the technology to protect the department and other critical Australian Government systems from malicious cyber intrusion and disruption while enhancing the resilience of Defence networks worldwide.

Quantum encryption will eliminate the risk of eavesdropping on secure communications. The solution is also expected to extend the capability from fibre networks to free space.

Defence invested an initial $1.1 million in QuintessenceLabs in 2012. The company is developing commercial-grade cybersecurity solutions that leverage quantum physics, including fast true random number generation, interoperable key management and policy management solutions.

“The awarding of this contract acknowledges the importance of quantum technology to enhance cybersecurity and protect communications,” QuintessenceLabs founder and CEO Vikram Sharma said.

“QuintessenceLabs is pleased to be partnering with the Australian Government to mature and expand these capabilities and ensure that our data remains safe even as the challenge of quantum computers develops.”

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