Swiss on a Roll With Quantum Crypto
GENEVA -- Deckpoint and id Quantique, two private companies active in the field of information technology and based in Geneva, Switzerland, and the University of Geneva announce, as a world premiere, the official opening of a data archiving network secured using quantum cryptography technology. A ceremony will take place on September 29th 2004, at 11 :00 am in Geneva. Carlo Lamprecht, the Minister of Economy, Labor and Foreign Affairs of the Republic and Canton of Geneva, as well as Professor André Hurst, the Dean of the University of Geneva, will attend this ceremony.
In a world where the reliance on electronic data transmission and processing is becoming every day more prevalent, data archiving plays a critical role in the ability of an organization to operate continuously under all circumstances. In order to guarantee the highest availability of information, the use of remote backup solutions on several sites is increasing strongly. In such a scenario, the confidentiality and the integrity of sensitive information exchanged between two sites is of the utmost importance.
Current cryptographic techniques used to guarantee this confidentiality are based on mathematical theories. In spite of the fact, that they are very widespread, they do not offer a foolproof security. They are in particular vulnerable to increasing computing power and theoretical advances in mathematics. On the contrary, quantum cryptography exploits the laws of quantum physics to guarantee in an absolute fashion the confidentiality of data transmission. « Quantum cryptography constitutes a revolution in the field of information security » says Professor Nicolas Gisin, of the University of Geneva. « It is the only solution offering long term confidentiality and which cannot be compromised by scientific or technological advances ».
The University of Geneva, where research on quantum cryptography started in the early 90’s, played a pioneer role in the development of this technology. At the end of 2001, four researchers, who were convinced of the potential of this technology, founded the company id Quantique to develop commercial applications.
id Quantique and Deckpoint joined forces to develop and implement the first data archiving network secured using quantum cryptography. The data saved on a farm of 30 servers of the Deckpoint Housing Center, in the Acacias district of Geneva, are replicated on servers located at the Cern Internet Exchange Point, in Meyrin, in the suburbs of Geneva. The distance between the two sites is about 10 kilometers. This application, which will initially last about one month, constitutes a world premiere.
id Quantique, the first company to bring quantum cryptography to the market, provided the hardware used in this application. « This world premiere is an excellent illustration of the of the potential of this technology » says Gregoire Ribordy, CEO. « The company confirms thus its leading position in applications of quantum technologies. »
« We are convinced that security has become critical, in particular with the implementation of the Basel II standards in the banking industry as of 2006. The economic world cannot afford anymore not to have a complete information security strategy » adds Dominique Perisset, director of Deckpoint. Seduced by the ambitions and visionary nature of this project, Deckpoint granted access to its infrastructure and offered technical support to make the implementation of this network possible.
University of Geneva