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With today’s standard Internet, packets of data are sent via networks and reassembled at the other end. For added protection, those packets are almost always secured through encryption and public-key cryptography (PKC), which is where a shared key is distributed to the sender and receiver to encrypt the message or communication.
However, when code-breaking quantum computers do emerge — and that’s closer than we think — breaking the PKC we rely on for secure communications over the Internet will become a whole lot easier.
That’s where the idea of making communications and the entire Internet quantum-proof has started to gain traction. But we now have two schools of thought emerging in this area: post-quantum cryptography (PQC) and quantum cryptography, mainly quantum key distribution (QKD). So what are they, what are their appropriate uses, and how can they be best used to add unbreakable security to the Internet?
QKD: An Emerging Technology, But Does It
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