Quantum-Ensured Defense of the Smart Electric Grid (QED), Los Alamos National Laboratory and Oak Ridge National Laboratory and EPB is a new approach for electric grid security using quantum information. This technique, based on cutting-edge quantum science and network security, uses quantum communications to authenticate and encrypt power grid control signals, protecting it from any third-party infiltration.
By placing the root of America’s electric grid security on fundamental physical laws, rather than mathematical complexity, these quantum-enabled systems offer an alternative path to secure communication across the national electric grid. Using the laws of physics, the information is protected because a photon cannot be cut in half, accurately copied, or measured without changing it in some way. QED has demonstrated its interoperability with existing SCADA systems, which enables independent electric providers the ability to incorporate it into their system’s infrastructure without the need for a complete system overhaul. By developing game-changing cybersecurity tools that anticipate future attack scenarios (particularly adversarial development of quantum computing), and by making future systems able to automatically detect, mitigate and survive malicious action, we can keep the lights on for generations to come.