What is Quantum Key Distribution?

By Frank Guanco, Research Project Manager, CSA

Following this year’s RSA Conference, the Cloud Security Alliance formed a new working group called the Quantum-Safe Security Working Group (QSSWG). The QSSWG working group recently published a follow-up paper entitled “What is Quantum-Safe Computing” to help raise awareness and promote the early adoption of technologies to protect data in the cloud in preparation for commercially available quantum computers, which should theoretically be able to crack RSA and ECC encryption algorithms.

As a follow-up to this paper, the QSSWG has recently published a new paper titled “What is Quantum Key Distribution” which addresses the issues around sharing and securing encryption keys in a quantum world. The new position paper provides an overview of key distribution in general, examines some of current approaches and existing challenges of key distribution, and provides a brief overview of how Quantum Key Distribution works in the real world. Finally the paper looks at how QKD has evolved from a largely experimental field into becoming a solid commercial proposition and what the road ahead for QKD might look like. We welcome your thoughts on this latest research, and hope you find it valuable.

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