Cyber-Security Company QuintessenceLabs Announces $3.26 Million Investment for Quantum Key Distribution Research

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QuintessenceLabs is a global leader in the commercial development of quantum cybersecurity solutions. Founded in 2008, QuintessenceLabs delivers unique products that use advances in quantum scientific discovery to create high-value cybersecurity technology. This includes the world’s fastest true random number generator; advanced key and policy manager and integrated encryption solutions for data in use, in motion or at rest in on-premise, in cloud or hybrid IT ecosystems. QuintessenceLabs is also in the process of maturing their quantum key distribution technology in partnership with the Australian Department of Defense. This technology will enable the secure exchange of encryption keys, protected by the laws of physics, making them secure against the most powerful attacks, even from quantum computers. Below is our interview with Jane Melia, Vice President of Strategic Business Development at QuintessenceLabs:


Q: You’ve recently announced $3.26 Million investment for Quantum Key Distribution Research; could you tell us something more?

A: Quantum computers technology is progressing rapidly ,with the first large scale commercially ready quantum computers expected in just a few years. They will provide immensely powerful computational capabilities that will help advance our capabilities in many important areas, such as medical research, imaging and sensing. However they will also result in significant challenges, particularly in the field of quantum cyber-security. Once quantum computers become available, hackers will gain significant leverage, since one widely used class of encryption protocols, commonly referred to as public key encryption, or asymmetric encryption, will become extremely vulnerable, essentially unusable securely and will need to be replaced. Public key encryption is the type of encryption we all rely on to securely exchange encryption keys before transferring sensitive data. Without it, it will no longer be safe to exchange information, so the consequences on businesses and trade will be huge unless we implement alternative solutions quickly.

Quantum key distribution (QKD) protects information exchange by sending it in quantum states, such as single photons or lasers. Because such networks are governed by the principles of quantum physics, the quantum particles carrying the data would change their physical state if someone attempted to hack or “observe” them, thereby stopping the transfer of information, and alerting the users to an attempted hack. This is a very secure way of exchanging keys, to ensure that the encryption itself will deliver the expected level of security. Most importantly it will remain robust even when quantum computers are available, since it is not vulnerable to increases in computational power, being protected by the laws of physics, and will provide the highest level of protection for sensitive information.

QuintessenceLabs is an Australian Cyber-security leader whose product portfolio includes a maturing key distribution technology that will securely exchange keys over fiber optic networks, and, as a result of this upcoming development for the Australian DoD, in free space. This development is critically important to help secure our communications even when quantum computers are available.


Q: Can you give us more insights into your products?

A: In addition to our quantum key distribution technology, QuintessenceLabs offers a suite of advanced cyber-security technologies that are available now, and currently being deployed for government, finance, defense and cloud customers around the world. Our core product is the QuintessenceLabs Trusted Security Foundation (TSF) which is the foundation for all encryption needs.

This single hardened appliance combines three key elements:

  • True Random Number Generator: The industry’s most powerful high-speed, full-entropy true random number generator delivering speeds up to 1 GBPS from a quantum source. (qStream)
  • Advanced Key and Policy Manager: A highly capable solution to manage the entire encryption key lifecycle as the only enterprise key management solution that is NIST ST 800-57 Part 1 compliant. (qCrypt)
  • Integrated Hardware Security Module (HSM): Delivers FIPS 140-2 Level 3 compliant secure key storage and cryptographic operations.

In addition, we offer comprehensive end to end encryption technology in conjunction with our partners PKWARE to meet the full data protection needs for government and the enterprise, and one time pad encryption leveraging our high speed quantum random number generator, to deliver the strongest, mathematically secure encryption, for devices in uncontrolled environments.

Q: What makes QuintessenceLabs a good choice?

A: QuintessenceLabs combines leading capabilities in data protection as well as quantum technologies, delivering powerful and flexible cyber-security solutions that are easy to integrate into existing infrastructure and that protect data in storage, use and transit, today and in the future. Our solutions are protecting some of our most sensitive data; for example our solutions are helping secure over 1.4 billion legal documents stored in the cloud, as well as vulnerable data for governments, banking and defense.


Q: What are your plans for next six months?

A: From a product perspective, and in addition to the announced QKD development, QuintessenceLabs is continuing to mature our technologies, for example rolling out over the next months our new, more compact quantum random number generator, delivering the world record 1 Gbit/second of true random that generate the strongest encryption keys. In parallel, we continue to expand our deployments for both federal and enterprise customers, both nationally in Australia as well as overseas in the US, Mexico, the UK and beyond.