HSBC is the first bank to join BT and Toshiba’s quantum-secured metro network – connecting two UK sites using Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) to prepare its global operations against future cyber threats.
HSBC will trial the quantum secure transmission of test data over fibre-optic cables between its global HQ in Canary Wharf and a data centre in Berkshire, 62km away. QKD uses particles of light and the fundamental properties of quantum physics to deliver secret keys between parties. These keys can be used to encrypt and decrypt sensitive data and are safe from eavesdroppers or cyber-attacks by quantum computers.
The technology will be trialled in multiple scenarios, including financial transactions, secure video communications and one-time-pad encryption.
CEO of HSBC Bank Plc and HSBC Europe, Colin Bell says: “Our customers, clients and employees expect us to have safe and secure operations and resilient cybersecurity, so we must stay ahead of the curve.
“That is why we are already preparing our global operations for a quantum future. We are spearheading industry-leading trials, recruiting highly trained experts, and investing in strong, strategic partnerships to explore how we could deploy these technologies as they develop.
HSBC has been stepping up its efforts in quantum computing over the last year, forming a multi-year deal with IBM to investigate the technology and actively recruiting research scientists to build a dedicated capability within its innovation team.
In June, it also embarked on a long-term partnership with Quantinuum, the self-described world’s largest quantum computing company, with an initial focus on cybersecurity.