Quantum cybersecurity firm QuSecure has collaborated with Accenture to develop a multi-orbit quantum-resilient satellite communications capability.
The firm has already demonstrated the ability to use low earth orbit (LEO) satellites to send data transmissions into space and back to earth. It can now also use geosynchronous equatorial orbit (GEO) satellites.
QuSecure’s product can wrap a quantum-resilient layer around any encryption algorithm. This can provide immediate quantum resiliency to existing classical encryption or any of the evolving quantum-safe algorithms as they become available.
The process inherently provides the recommended concept of crypto agility; that is, the ability to easily switch from a weaker algorithm to a stronger algorithm as required, for whatever reason. The collaboration with Accenture now applies this same concept of agility to the satellites themselves. If one level of orbit becomes difficult, whether through accident or attack, the communications can be switched to a different orbital level.
LEO satellites generally orbit at an altitude of 350 to 2,000 km. The Accenture collaboration means that GEO satellites can also be used by QuSecure. GEO satellites orbit at a height of around 37,000 and can carry more data with greater coverage.
“Outer space is getting more crowded and contested every day, and providing reliable space-based security is critical in today’s global economy,” commented Tom Patterson, quantum and space security lead at Accenture. “Blue sky thinking addressing real world issues is what Accenture’s clients require, and security is a critical component of delivering the best solutions around the world. Bringing advanced security capabilities like QuSecure’s quantum-resistant crypto agility systems to orbit drives Accenture forward to better secure businesses on earth and throughout the space ecosystem.”
These earth to space and back to earth communications are software-based. They do not require anything to be installed on orbiting satellites.
“As pioneers in post-quantum cybersecurity, our collaboration will elevate our clients’ protection by leveraging the power of advanced networking solutions that span terrestrial, aerial, and space domains,” added Garrison Buss, chief strategy officer at QuSecure. “Our unwavering commitment to excellence, combined with Accenture’s extensive domain expertise, will drive us to deliver unparalleled security solutions in a world that is increasingly interconnected and reliant on data.”
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