Italtel and TOP-IX launch the trial on an operational network
The prototype of the new Italtel Quantum Secure Network solution developed for QKD (Quantum Key Distribution), the quantum technology to provide concrete answers to the need for security of information transmitted over networks, has been successfully tested in the TOP-IX network. The technological partners INRIM, Politecnico di Milano and Cohaerentia collaborate in the trial
Turin, 19 July 2021 – TOP-IX Consortium, Italtel, INRIM and CSI announce that a solution for the quantum distribution of cryptographic keys has been tested for the first time in Italy on an operational network, the TOP-IX data network, with a view to offering a cybersecurity enhancement service.
Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) uses the fundamental principles of physics to make communications more secure and to counter increasingly powerful computers that undermine the security of more traditional key exchange methods for encryption.
With QKD, symmetrical cryptographic keys can be distributed to achieve transmitted data absolute confidentiality. Regardless of the computational power of the adversary, the key is able to resist any type of attack, whether classical or quantum. Through the analysis of the transmission parameters, it is also possible to monitor the security status of the network and to discover in real time whether any unauthorised data access attempts are underway.
The tested system is Italtel’s new Quantum Secure Network solution, consisting of a transmitter (Alice) and of a QKD receiver (Bob), which have been installed at the ends of a fibre optic link connecting three data centres on an operational network.
This trial was made possible thanks to Italtel’s technological partnerships with the Istituto Nazionale di Ricerca Metrologica (INRIM), through its research in the innovative use of fibre optics with its Italian Quantum Backbone and the design of a European Quantum Communication Infrastructure, and with the scientific advice of Politecnico di Milano and of its spin-off Cohaerentia, which integrated the QKD equipment (Alice and Bob) installed in the data centres.
CSI Piemonte is developing a specific application that will be used as a test bed to experiment with QKD technology in the creation of a secure channel used for the integration and synchronization of real data and to enable the sharing of consent data between different users in a safety.
The solution, tested in its operational network, ranks TOP-IX among the most innovative operators in the European and international scene. The use of QKD technology in its network enhances the value of the fibre-optic communication infrastructure by offering unconditional security services that would be impossible without the use of quantum technology.