As individuals, corporations and government agencies increasingly store and transmit digital information, the ability to protect this valuable data becomes more important. Unfortunately, cyber theft and cyber attacks are becoming more sophisticated and prolific each year meaning cyber security is more important than ever. Luckily, breakthroughs in cyber security are also happening at an increasing rate, which allows these organizations to stay one step ahead of those who attempt to commit cyber crimes.
Single Photon Generation
A research team at the University of Sydney has solved an issue that could cause a major breakthrough in the way information is transmitted, allowing for more secure computer systems worldwide. The issue at hand is the ability to generate single photons that carry quantum information in security systems. Photons are tiny particles of light that cannot be seen individually.
“Implementing optical quantum technologies has now come down to one fundamental challenge: having indistinguishable single photons on-demand,” says Dr. Chunle Xiong, from the School of Physics.
The Sydney team has developed a way to generate single photons in a more reliable manner. By advancing quantum computing technology, the ability to more securely exchange data and more quickly search databases is becoming a reality.
“The ability to generate single photons, which form the backbone of technology used in laptops and the internet, will drive the development of local secure communications systems – for safeguarding defense and intelligence networks, the financial security of corporations and governments and bolstering personal electronic privacy, like shopping online,” says Professor Ben Eggleton, co-author of the paper published in Nature Communications.
A research student recently solved a cryptography problem that has been stumping experts for decades. Craig Gentry, a Stanford PhD student at the time of the breakthrough, found a way to analyze encrypted information without sacrificing confidentiality. It is called privacy homomorphism, or “fully homomorphic encryption.”
This new technology will allow cloud computing providers to manipulate certain data without exposing the original data. Charles Lickel, Vice President of Software Research at IBM, says, “Fully homomorphic encryption will enable businesses to make more informed decisions, based on more studied analysis, without compromising privacy.”
There are still challenges in making this technology viable for large-scale businesses, but the possibilities are wide-ranging. In the future, it should allow cloud providers to host confidential data from businesses as well as governments.