SK Telecom applies quantum cryptographic communication technology to IP equipment

By Lim Chang-won Posted : April 6, 2021, 11:16 Updated : April 6, 2021, 14:31

[Gettyimages Bank]

SEOUL -- SK Telecom, a top mobile carrier in South Korea, opened the way for the wider use of its security solution by applying quantum cryptographic communication technology to corporate IP equipment such as routers and switches. Companies with no dedicated networks can use telecom security services using quantum cryptography.

SK Telecom (SKT) and its subsidiary ID Quantique (IDQ), a Geneva-based leader in quantum-safe cryptography, have developed a quantum virtual private network (VPN) based on the quantum key distribution (QKD). VPN is a secured communications channel implemented over shared, public networks to connect remote users and machines to a private network. QKD is a secure communication method that implements a cryptographic protocol involving components of quantum mechanics.

Quantum VPN technology combines IP equipment security technology and quantum encryption technology for enterprises, and it can be applied flexibly to various business-to-business (B2B) network structures and services, SKT said, adding it would contribute to popularizing quantum cryptographic communication technologies and improving security services for enterprises.

In the 5G era, the importance of cybersecurity in mobile communications will rise exponentially. Quantum cryptography has emerged as an essential solution for safeguarding critical information because it is impossible to copy data encoded in a quantum state. The mobile carrier has applied encryption technology using QKD to 5G networks.

"This link provides the foundation for more B2B customers to experience advanced quantum security." SKT's Innovation Suite head Ha Min-yong said in a statement on April 6. SKT would develop various methods that link QKD while upgrading QKD performance and reviewing various cryptographic methods to create a safe communication environment.

SKT is a leading member of South Korea's state project to secure technology competitiveness in quantum cryptography communication. The project involves the Korea Information Society Agency (NIA), SK Broadband and IDQ. Hanwha Systems validates security by linking a quantum cryptography communication network to virtual desktop infrastructure. Desktop virtualization separates the desktop environment and associated application software from the physical client device that is used to access it.
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