photo of Hoi-Kwong Lo
(photo by Caitlin Free)

Professor Hoi-Kwong Lo receives Connaught Innovation Award

Professor Hoi-Kwong Lo has received a Connaught Innovation Award for his work on future-proofing data breaches in the age of supercomputers.

Private data stored behind today's conventional encryption technologies won’t stand a chance against the supercomputers and quantum computers of tomorrow. 

“Advancements in computational power threaten the foundation of cybersecurity and our privacy,” says Lo of the Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering in the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering. 

Lo’s team will use the Connaught Innovation Award funding to develop an algorithm that combines two existing cryptography systems, “secret sharing” and “one-time pad,” to safely store, distribute and exchange private information among any two parties in a network.

The work is another building block in establishing a quantum internet – the ‘holy grail’ of quantum information processing that would allow the secure transmission of data. 

Lo says their cryptography system will be unbreakable, even at the hands of supercomputers. “Our work is of major importance, as data stored or even stolen today, won’t be cracked in the future.”

Read the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering story