ABN Amro explores the security applications of quantum technology

ABN Amro explores the security applications of quantum technology

ABN Amro is joining forces with a Dutch university and a scientific research organisation to investigate how quantum technology could help guarantee the security of mobile and online banking.

Quantum computing is expected to be a reality within a few years, making possible calculations that traditional computers are not capable of.

While this will open a range of new possibilities, there are also risks; the future ‘universal’ quantum computer - which is expected to be operating in ten to fifteen years - has the potential to crack today’s encryption methods.

ABN Amro is now working with QuTech, a quantum technology research venture set up by Delft University of Technology and the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research, to investigate how to tackle this threat.

The partners say that connecting users with one another via quantum networks could produce fundamentally secure connections. Such connections make use of the quantum phenomenon of ‘entanglement’, with which it is always noticeable if somebody tries to eavesdrop or gather data in another way.

The plan is to create an advanced system for Measurement Device Independent-Quantum Key Distribution. This new form of QKD will allow several users to connect with one another through a central measurement and to exchange unique and complex codes.

"It’s virtually impossible to eavesdrop on this technology," says ABN Amro.

The quantum connection is established by laser communication via existing fibre-optic connections and by air.

ABN Amro says that while a bank may seem a strange participant in such a project, its knowledge and experience of working with sensitive data gives it an incentive and makes it an attractive partner for QuTech.

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