Melita Limited CEO Harald Roesch on Tuesday stated that the future of secure data transmission lies in quantum technology, rather than standard encryption that is presently utilised.
He was speaking as Melita and Merqury Cybersecurity Limited, a local firm that is partnering with the telecoms company, announced the successful use of quantum encryption through the use of new equipment.
This development forms part of the cutting-edge Physical Security for Public Infrastructure in Malta (PRISM) project, co-funded by the European Union (EU), which plans to deploy quantum-secured communication links over standard telecommunications networks, providing greater data security against current and future cyberthreats. The network would be a “first of its kind in Europe”, ushering Malta into the quantum age.
Melita is supporting Merqury Cybersecurity in the development of quantum technologies for secure cryptography and key distribution, from quantum key distribution that offers a secure method for key exchange to quantum-safe cryptography that provides resilience against hacking and eavesdropping.
This event thus marks a significant advancement in the development of a nationwide quantum network, with equipment located within Melita’s two data centres.
“We are delighted to have achieved another milestone in the journey towards enhancing cybersecurity,” Mr Roesch said.
“Quantum cryptography represents the future of secure data transmission, and we are proud to have demonstrated its potential on our infrastructure,” he continued.
André Xuereb, Merqury Cybersecurity Founder and CEO, also commented during the event, stating that standard encryption used today “relies on mathematics to encrypt and decrypt data.” This data can be copied by attackers and decrypted if they have “sufficient computing power or the encryption method is weak,” he explained.
“Quantum cryptography ensures that data can only be decrypted by parties which share the quantum keys,” Professor Xuereb said. Additionally, he noted that the data “cannot be copied or viewed by a potential hacker without this being noticed.”
Through the PRISM project, Melita is providing a network of several connections for the transmission of quantum-encrypted data on its fibre network across Malta and eventually to Sicily across its undersea cable. The infrastructure will continue to serve as a testing ground for validating the effectiveness of quantum security and encryption services within a functional telecommunications network, using solutions designed by Merqury.
Following the successful demonstration, a public showcase is scheduled to take place on Wednesday (tomorrow), featuring a live demonstration of this technology operating between two sites at University of Malta.
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