QNu Labs, the only firm in the country to develop Quantum cyber-security products, has successfully conducted field trials and has now started shipping its solutions to the customers. The Bengaluru-based firm said it is engaging with customers across defence, government, financial sector and data centre and cloud service providers in India and overseas markets such as the US, Middle East and Southeast Asia. It has already set up its office in the US to accelerate commercialization of the technology.
“We are gearing up our production capabilities to meet the demand of customers globally,” said Sunil Gupta, co-founder and chief executive at QNu Labs. “We have also established a channel partner network globally for a much larger and faster client reach. We have good opportunities in the pipeline through partners which will grow rapidly in the next 3-4 quarters as Quantum technology gets a lot closer to its tipping point.”
QNu’s technology could propel India to the forefront of hack-proof communication in sectors such as banking, defence and national and homeland security. The development comes at a time, when this year's budget has proposed an outlay of Rs 8,000 crore over the next five years to set up a National Mission on Quantum Technology and Applications. Quantum computing is expected to disrupt entire industries from cybersecurity and telecommunications to medicine, finance and manufacturing. Quantum computers can process massive and complex datasets more efficiently than classical computers (like your desktop), according to research firm CB Insights. They use the fundamentals of quantum mechanics to speed up the process of solving complex computations. Often those computations incorporate a seemingly unlimited number of variables, and the potential applications span industries from genomics to finance, according to CB Insights.
QNu is in the business of future-proofing encryption through quantum technologies. Its solutions solve the problem of secure key distribution by allowing the exchange of a cryptographic key between two remote parties over a quantum channel, even in the presence of an eavesdropper. The 'Quantum cryptography' created by QNu relies more on physics than mathematics. It is based on the use of individual particles or waves of light (photons) and their intrinsic quantum properties to create an unbreakable cryptosystem. This is viable as it is impossible to assess the quantum state of any system without disturbing it.
Traditional encryption relies on relaying a decryption key along with the secret data. The recipient then uses that key for deciphering that secret information. But hackers can copy this key and steal the data. To address this problem, the most promising application of quantum cryptography that QNu Labs offers is Quantum key distribution (QKD). Using the company’s technology, two users can set up a QKD session that enables them to get a random private key. QKD is different, as it encrypts this key on light particles called photons. A hacker trying to copy or read such a key would automatically change its state, due to the fundamental principle of quantum mechanics. This would also leave a hacker fingerprint. This means the recipient and the transmitter can easily spot attempts to read or intercept the information. QNu’s products consist of a pair of hardware devices as big as pizza boxes, which are integrated with the network equipment like routers and switches and central key management systems.
"With QNu Labs starting commercialisation of Quantum security products, India has become one of the few countries in the world to have such a technology, " said Gupta.
An alumnus of National Institute of Technology, Trichy, Gupta co-founded QNu Labs along with Mark Mathias and Anil Prabhakar, who have deep expertise in areas such hardware product development, quantum optic research, and mobile and satellite communications.