GridCOM Technologies secures seed funding to develop quantum encryption technology to protect our nation's electrical grid from cyber terrorism
CARLSBAD, Calif., April 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- GridCOM Technologies, Inc. has secured seed funding to develop its "future-proof" quantum encryption solution that protects vulnerable communications between millions of automation devices currently controlling the electrical grid. Using quantum entangled photons and optical fibers, a decentralized key server is created over a geographic region. For a monthly subscription fee, wired and wireless devices can access this "quantum" key server over the Internet to receive "incorruptible" keys that are used in performing symmetric key encryption. Due to the unique properties of quantum mechanics, the quantum entangled photons can detect - with 100% assurance - any attempt to manipulate the initial creation of the "incorruptible" keys. No hardware or special optical fibers are required at the device and no data latency is introduced by the technique - an important requirement for grid compatibility.
In a 2012 study, the United States Government Accountability Office stated that cyber security and industry experts are concerned that the modernized North American electrical grid is vulnerable to cyber attacks that could cripple the nation's electrical infrastructure, including parts critical to maintaining our economy and security. "Correcting the blatant vulnerabilities of the nation's electrical grid is a responsibility we can no longer shirk." said Dr. Duncan Earl, Chief Technology Officer at GridCOM and former R&D staff member with the Cyberspace Sciences and Information Intelligence Research group at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). "This investment ensures that one of our best cyber security tools, quantum encryption, will be developed and offered as a commercial alternative for the very near future."
GridCOM Technologies has received seed funding from Ellis Energy Investments, a company known for their assistance in launching, monetizing and growing early stage companies. "The concept of developing a solution that will protect our electrical grid was so compelling that providing seed funding was as much a patriotic decision as business investment. GridCOM's subscription based system will provide guaranteed safe machine-to-machine communication for our nation." stated Stan Ellis, CEO Ellis Energy Investments. Ellis Energy Investments is located in Bakersfield, CA.
The technology behind quantum encryption has been under development for more than twenty years at universities and national laboratories. Dr. Warren Grice, head of DOE's ORNL Quantum Information Science group, says that, "As one of our nation's most daunting and complex challenges, electric grid security requires novel solutions. Quantum key distribution is a unique technology that has much to offer."
GridCOM is currently in the research and development phase and plans to install and operate their first prototype system in the greater San Diego area and offer their services around the United States thereafter. GridCOM is a privately held company.
SOURCE GridCOM Technologies, Inc.