How safe are new technical innovations, how do we protect our medical data, and how do we deal with food safety? Security is becoming increasingly important. How do we get the rapid and continuous flow of new technologies under control and prevent data from falling into the wrong hands? Nanotechnology is the key to finding solutions to society's security questions. An example of research that takes place at MESA+.
Information security through the use of light
When computers from your bank communicate via a fibre-optic connection to process your transfers, it must be certain that they are 'talking' to each other and not to a hacker pretending to be a legitimate server. Security techniques use secret codes to try and prevent this. However, these codes can be leaked without the bank noticing. Scientists at the MESA+ centre QUANT are working on a security technique that does without secret codes. The trick is to use unclonable hardware with a unique 'fingerprint' and have it read with a technique that uses the quantum properties of light.
Cryptography is now widely used to secure secret communications against eavesdropping. Current cryptography will probably be easy to crack by universal quantum computers in the future. Fortunately, quantum technology also offers a solution. With quantum communication techniques, secret keys can be safely constructed between senders and receivers. In this way, not even a quantum computer can crack the encrypted communication, and your money transactions remain secure.