Worldwide the security integrity of information and communications, during both transmission and storage, is of fundamental importance across all aspects of our daily lives. Increasingly however, current methods used for data security are coming under threat. We know that encryption techniques widely used today can be broken by powerful quantum computers, when these get built in the (near) future. For information that is only required to be secure for a short time now, this threat is just looming. However, for sensitive information that requires a long security “shelf-life”, the threat is already here. Encrypted communications can be stored now and broken in the future, when the tools exist. Clearly new approaches to security are required.
Commercial success will require investment, foresight, technical understanding and long-term commitment. But QKD – potentially in partnership with new forms of mathematical cryptography – could form the basis of all future secure communications. Those dealing in secure information need to get ahead of the game. Those developing security products are presented with a big business opportunity there for the taking.
The ultimate beneficiaries of the development of a quantum communications technologies industry will be businesses that rely on secure transmissions of data such as banks, defence organisations, and health services.