The aim of the project is to create the first national network of quantum optical communications in Cyprus
The importance of quantum communications in communication security was highlighted at the inaugural event of the research project which aims to create the first national network of quantum optical communications in Cyprus coordinated by the Cyprus University of Technology (CUT), called “Cyprus Quantum Communication Infrastructure’ (CYQCI). CYQCI is part of the EuroQCI initiative which aims to develop a quantum-secure, trans-European network. As part of the project, an advanced experimental quantum network will be established in Cyprus, which will enable highly secure information transfer between critical public, academic and industrial end-users.
The event took place on Monday, May 15th, 2023, in the presence of the Deputy Minister of Research, Innovation and Digital Policy, Mr. Philippos Hadjizacharias and the General Director, Dr. Stelios Himonas.
The Deputy Minister, through his speech has emphasized the significance of secure communications which are necessary to protect sensitive and confidential information, and hence our national security.
Today’s sophisticated cybercrimes are a daily threat to critical organizations and even entire nations. In combination with the development of quantum computers, which can have the computational power to crack encrypted messages in a very short time, traditional encryption methods are no longer a viable solution for the secure transfer of information. Nonetheless, quantum communications offer a unique solution to the current vulnerabilities of traditional encryption methods, and the benefits it offers make it a worthwhile investment for businesses and governments. This is achieved through the implementation of quantum key distribution (QKD). Unlike traditional cryptosystems, the security of QKD is not based on mathematical complexity and is therefore not conditional upon the computational power of a hacker. Instead, it uses the principles of quantum mechanics to guarantee that any attempt to intercept the communication and steal information about the secret key is detectable by the authorized users.
The use of quantum communications and quantum key distribution (QKD) has the potential to revolutionize public and private optical communication networks as well as cybersecurity processes, while developing new profitable services that can make Cyprus a secure telecommunications hub. As we move further into the 21st century, we can expect to see quantum communications becoming an integral part of our encryption methods, and the ‘CYQCI’ project is our pioneering step in this direction. Through this cutting-edge research project, Cyprus is given the opportunity to expand and modernize through innovative applications in the field of quantum optical communications. CYQCI plans to offer several opportunities for participation in relevant research and training activities but also for joining the quantum network itself.
The opening event for CYQCI was attended by high-ranking government officials, end-users of the network and the members of the consortium, which is coordinated by Professor Kyriakos Kalli from the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer and Information Engineering of CUT. The Department of Electronic Communications (DEC), the Digital Security Authority (DSA), the Cyprus Research Academic Network (CYNET) and the Cyprus Telecommunications Authority (CYTA) were all part of the event presenting their contributions to the next steps of the project’s objectives with the presence of the National Security Authority (NSA).
The CYQCI project is co-financed by the European Commission and the Deputy -Ministry of Research, Innovation and Digital Policy, within the framework of the “Digital Europe” Program. The total funding of the project amounts to 7.5 million euros and will be co-financed equally by European and national funds until 2025.
For more information about the project, you can visit the following links:
The CYQCI project is co-funded by the European Commission and the Cyprus Deputy Ministry of Research, Innovation and Digital Policy under the Grant Agreement No. 101091655.
Source: Cyprus University of Technology I News (https://shorturl.at/ruTY1)