VT Explores the Relationship Between Quantum Networks & Cybersecurity

New River Valley, VA – An article published by Virginia Tech explains how researchers at the university, in tandem with the Commonwealth Cyber Initiative (CCI), are exploring quantum computing and its potential to revolutionize the cybersecurity landscape. Per the article, “Quantum systems have properties that provide inherent security in communications. Unlike “classical” networks, which comprise the existing internet, quantum networks will enhance cybersecurity and allow a host of cryptographic and networking tasks.”

There is no doubt that quantum networks are the next frontier in the age of the internet, and experts expect that it will profoundly impact the world we live in. But what exactly is it? To the layperson, quantum computing can be challenging to comprehend, much less its effect on everyday systems that affect our daily lives. Let’s examine a bit.

“A bit is the smallest unit of digital information, and it exists in one of two states: 0 or 1. In a quantum information processor, information is packaged in quantum bits (qubits) that simultaneously occupy multiple states between 0 and 1 that a regular information processor can’t access. This superposition quality unlocks unprecedented computational power and processing speed”.

Looking ahead, Sophia Economou, Virginia Tech professor of physics in the College of Science says,

“In the future, a user will be able to securely access a quantum computer via a quantum network. This is analogous to running a program on the cloud. Even an old laptop can connect to Amazon’s servers, for example, and tap into a huge reservoir of computing power. The key difference for quantum networks is security: a user may want to run a program that needs to be kept secret, maybe for intellectual property or national security reasons”.

The CCI network extends across the Commonwealth but is anchored by “nodes.” VT is at the helm of the southwest node and is joined by Radford University and New River Community College. Both schools have robust cybersecurity programs, the latter of which has just received a prestigious cybersecurity designation.

Quantum networks aren’t here yet — but they’re getting closer. The research that our world-class universities are currently conducting can further position Virginia’s New River Valley as a leading hub of technology-based business and innovation.

Learn more about the exciting research and innovation projects in the NRV here.

Learn more about IT in Virginia’s New River Valley here.


Virginia’s New River Valley: Virginia’s New River Valley is an eclectic mix of interconnected small towns that each offer their own unique vibe and appeal. The region provides an abundance of cultural and social offerings due to the presence of three world-class universities, while retaining the charm and benefits of small town living. The NRV is home to a diverse and innovative business community with companies that range from high-tech startups to foreign-based corporations to specialty agribusiness. These organizations benefit from the collaborative spirit of our region and a loyal, highly-skilled, and educated workforce. The scenic beauty of the region also fosters a deep connection to nature, which is deepened by access to outdoor recreation and the preservation of our natural environment. It’s clear why Virginia’s New River Valley is “A Natural Fit.”

Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment, and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.

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