Quantum Key Management

Deploy quantum-secure networks with ease


The quantum age demands quantum-secure networking

Without it, even the most sensitive transmission could be decrypted by quantum computers within minutes. Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) is the technology that underpins quantum-secure networks. It uses the quantum properties of light to generate quantum-secure keys for encrypting and decrypting data.

Quantum-secure keys need quantum-specific key management

Cryptographic key management systems (KMSs) are the foundation of most online data security – responsible for routing and delivering the secure keys which secure encrypted data transmissions. Quantum key management systems are specifically designed to manage and route quantum-secure keys through QKD networks, enabling them to be shared reliably between parties.

Benefits of a Quantum Key Management System

Ensures the secure exchange of keys that are safe even from decryption by quantum computers.
Abstracts the key delivery from the QKD physical network layer – providing a flexible key delivery overlay.
Provides a centralised interface for key management.

Toshiba Q-KMS

  • Secure key routing mechanism: to distribute keys between any two connected QKD systems
  • Proactive key allocation mechanisms: to help optimise performance
  • Industry standardised: European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ESTI) GS QKD 014 compliant, with integrated REST-based key delivery API, supporting interworking with other compliant QKD systems and applications
A closeup of a technician adjusting a lead

Why choose Toshiba Q-KMS

Two decades of research, and unparalleled expertise.

We’ve been at the forefront of quantum cryptography since 1999. The head of our Quantum Technology Division, Dr Andrew Shields, led the ETSI group on quantum communications standards for seven years, which established the ETSI GS QKD 014 standard for QKD systems. We have been responsible for a series of world firsts in quantum technology and performance and we continue to push the boundaries of quantum technology.


QKD in detail


The public key encryption techniques used today to secure much of our data online are no match for quantum computers. The dawn of the quantum age requires a new kind of security. Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) involves the transmission of quantum-safe cryptographic keys using a technique which secures online transmissions, even against quantum computers.

Organisations will have to carefully manage the deployment of these quantum-secure keys throughout their QKD networks.

Toshiba’s Q-KMS makes the process simple.

What is a quantum key management system?

A Q-KMS is a cryptographic key management system for the quantum age. It operates in tandem with the QKD network, generating and distributing quantum-secure keys between trusted nodes – similar to TCP/IP, but for quantum transmissions.

The Q-KMS distributes and stores keys as required, allowing the operator to have high key refresh rates if they so wish.

How does Toshiba’s Q-KMS work?

Toshiba abstracts the Q-KMS from the physical layer, meaning we can provide a logical key delivery overlay across a network infrastructure.

While previous QKD systems have only operated point to point, the advent of Q-KMS means that QKD-secured mesh networking is now available. In a QKD network with a mesh architecture (as in the diagram below), the Toshiba Q-KMS can route around potential fibre breaks, increasing system resilience.

A diagram illustrating QKM network
Do you need to use a Q-KMS with quantum key distribution systems?

Yes, if you’re using a QKD system in your network, you will need a quantum key management system to route and deliver the quantum-secure cryptographic keys. That’s why Toshiba provide a Q-KMS in addition to our QKD systems. Toshiba’s Q-KMS is compatible with quantum key distribution systems from other QKD vendors, or other applications (such as encryptors) that comply with the ETSI GS QKD 014 standard.

Is a quantum key management system the same as a key management system?

A Q-KMS is the quantum-secure equivalent of a standard cryptographic key management system (KMS), but designed specifically to store, distribute, and manage the keys required within a quantum-secure network.



Toshiba Q-KMS Quantum Key Management System Datasheet (PDF, 1 MB)

Latest product features and specifications for the Toshiba Q-KMS Quantum Key Management System

Quantum Cryptography: a New Age in Data Security

Today’s security challenges and tomorrow’s security fears are driving the adoption of reliable quantum cryptography solutions and services to enable better data security in a quantum age. Dr Andrew Shields contributes to this December 2018 edition of Scientific Computing World with an article examining the importance of technologies like QKD to the future of data security, and methods for putting quantum cryptography into practice.

[EXTERNAL] A Quantum Light-Emitting Diode for the Standard Telecom Window Around 1,550 nm (Nature)


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