HSBC is experimenting with quantum technology to protect itself against future cybersecurity threats.
Experts estimate that quantum computers may one day be able to break current encryption systems in seconds, so banks have a strong incentive to fight fire with fire and find ways to use the technology to keep secrets safe.
Quantum – an emerging computing paradigm that promises to perform calculations at blistering speeds – is one of the biggest cyber threats of the next decade, so HSBC is testing ways to “stay ahead of the curve” in protecting itself.
The bank is trialing an advanced security system powered by Amazon’s AWS, Toshiba, and telecom giant BT Group that uses a technique called quantum key distribution (QKD) to protect data privacy.
HSBC’s test involves sending information – like mock financial transactions and video communications – between its HQ and one of its data centers, while maintaining encryption and blocking eavesdroppers through QKD. JPMorgan and Danske Bank have also successfully experimented with the technique.
As Insights Distilled has previously reported, other FinServs are testing quantum in different areas of their businesses as well, with varying results:
A former exec said UBS abandoned its experiments because they didn’t provide strategic advantage, while Credit Agricole found it could achieve “faster valuations and more accurate risk assessments” using quantum techniques, and Mastercard is experimenting with ways to use the tech to improve its loyalty and rewards program.