Carlsbad-based GridCOM Technologies Inc. secured seed funding to develop its "future-proof" quantum encryption technology that protects the nation's electrical grid from cyber terrorism.
Using quantum entangled photons and optical fibers, a decentralized key server is created over a geographic region. For a monthly subscription fee, wired and wireless devices can access this "quantum" key server over the Internet to receive "incorruptible" keys that are used in performing symmetric key encryption.
The quantum entangled photons can detect any attempt to manipulate the initial creation of the "incorruptible" keys.
No hardware or special optical fibers are required at the device and no data latency is introduced by the technique -- an important requirement for grid compatibility.
GridCOM Technologies received seed funding from Ellis Energy Investments, a company known for its assistance in launching, monetizing and growing early stage companies.
"Correcting the blatant vulnerabilities of the nation's electrical grid is a responsibility we can no longer shirk," said Dr. Duncan Earl, chief technology officer at GridCOM and former R&D staff member with the Cyberspace Sciences and Information Intelligence Research group at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). "This investment ensures that one of our best cybersecurity tools, quantum encryption, will be developed and offered as a commercial alternative for the very near future."