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Imperfect cybersecurity is a threat to all countries, including Malta. The EU has been at the forefront in developing solutions that exploit the power of quantum technologies to protect data against any cryptographic threat, regardless of technological advances that may happen in the future.

The project Physical Security for Public Infrastructure in Malta (PRISM) aims to demonstrate the potential of quantum-secured communication throughout the Maltese Islands to improve the security and resilience of Maltese infrastructure. It brings together a consortium of Maltese entities led by RSM Malta and including the University of Malta (UM), Merqury Cybersecurity Limited, Melita Limited, Umnai, the Malta Information Technology Agency, and the Critical Infrastructure Protection Directorate. 

On 11 May 2023 at 11:00 the UM Rector, Prof. Alfred J. Vella, used a Malta-designed ultra-secure communication system to speak via video call with Mr Simon Montanaro, Chief Technical Officer of Melita Limited. This call was kept secure at the ultimate level through the use of quantum cryptography and connected UM to the Melita data centre in Madliena. The video call system, developed in Malta by Merqury Cybersecurity Limited, uses quantum mechanics to create a communications link that protects the data fully while it is being transmitted over the internet.

Rector, Prof. Alfred Vella highlighted “the interesting and ‘mysterious’ concept of communicating securely through quantum phenomena which can be critical to certain applications. I am also extremely proud of the researchers at UM who are key in the development of this infrastructure.”

Simon Montanaro, CTO at Melita Limited said, “We are thrilled about the successful demonstration of a quantum-encrypted video call, an initial use case of quantum technologies on an existing telecommunications network between the UM in Msida and the Melita Data Centre in Madliena.Future phases will see more sophisticated use cases enabled by these quantum technologies over a larger portion of Melita’s fibre infrastructure, both locally and internationally.”

Prof. André Xuereb, founder of Merqury Cybersecurity Limited, added that “the work that we are doing in Malta is essential to the development of advanced quantum communication technologies, since it is helping to bring them to a point where they can be integrated seamlessly into the networking infrastructure.

Further information about this demonstration is available in the following YouTube video.

This project is co-funded by the European Union’s Digital Europe Programme, project PRISM (Grant Agreement no. 101111875). Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.

 

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