Quantum cryptography chair for data protection

The AXA Research Fund has announced a €1.7 million endowment to ICFO - The Institute of Photonic Sciences - in Barcelona to create a research chair in quantum cryptography. The goal of the chair, held by Antonio Acín, is to strengthen encryption codes to reliably secure 100% of data. ALL NEWS  |  Risk & Research
Dec 17, 2015

Data plays a central role in a growing number of business sectors. It is especially vital in the insurance industry, which is why AXA has been multiplying its efforts to increase the understanding, use and security of the massive set of information known as Big Data.

Weaknesses in certain security protocols have eroded user trust and threatened the integrity of data transmitted and exchanged. The Group recognized the need to enhance the security of the data to which it has access. The new chair aims to use quantum cryptography to make our confidential data hackproof.

Using quantum physics to encrypt data

The ICFO-AXA Chair will study quantum cryptography protocols to find a way to ensure the absolute unassailability of data transmission. Antonio Acín, who holds the chair and is a pioneer in the field of quantum cryptography, said: "To break these protocols would be to go against the laws of quantum physics, which is something that has never been achieved."

In other words, quantum cryptography enables the sending of a perfectly random encoded key to several remote receivers, ensuring the security of the message it allows them to access.

The AXA Research Fund supports research in Spain and around the world

This new endowment brings AXA's total financing of fundamental research in Spain to €10 million. Around the world, AXA has committed €200 million to support independent academic research by 2018.

Since the AXA Research Fund was created in 2007, it has supported 449 projects led by researchers of 50 nationalities, working in 230 universities.

As of December 2015, €4.26 million have been engaged to support projects on data and data privacy.