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cyber threat to Border Gateway Protocols
cyber threat to Border Gateway Protocols

Tech Updates

What are industry leaders doing about the cyber threat to Border Gateway Protocols?

To read this blog you need the Internet, but, have you ever thought about how the Internet works? If you haven’t, I don’t blame you. The Internet has become so ingrained into our everyday lives that we barely give it a second thought. However, in the face of the growing cyber threat I would say that anyone relying on networks needs to pay attention to avoid being the next victim of a hack!

So, what is this big threat I’m talking about? Well, before we get into that, we first need to take a look at the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) which makes the Internet work. Put simply, the BGP is used throughout the Internet to exchange routing information between networks. Now, the Internet is made up of a network of networks so data needs to know what route it’s taking to reach its final destination, and BGP makes sure it gets there.

A common analogy is to describe BGP as a postal system. To send a parcel you need to take it to a postbox, which is then processed by the postal service which chooses the fastest route to deliver the parcel to its final destination.

So far, so good, right? Well, the BGP does not directly include security mechanisms which can leave them vulnerable. Instead the responsibility lies with the network operators to ensure they secure their systems correctly and don’t send incorrect data. But, what if your parcel van gets hijacked by a highwayman along the route? Unfortunately, mistakes do happen which could be taken advantage of by malicious attackers that want to affect the routing tables used by BGP. Cybercriminals can disguise themselves by using a legitimate network prefix as their own and then divert Internet traffic to themselves instead of it’s true destination. The information they collect will be sorted and decrypted at a later date.

How do we protect against BGP hijackers?


Luckily, the clever minds at industry leaders Arqit and Juniper Network recently announced that they have signed a ‘Technology Alliance Partner Connect’ agreement to tackle this very problem! Arqit boasts a team of absolute wizards when it comes to quantum encryption and is known for its innovative QuantumCloud™ solution that can create completely unique computationally secure keys in partnership with any other device. Striving to deliver networks that allow people reliable and safe connections, Juniper Network is a market leader when it comes to networks. In it’s impressive arsenal, Juniper develops and markets networking products, including routers, switches, network management software, network security products, and software-defined networking technology. Recently, the company has been working on developing new software-defined networking products which makes its partnership with Arqit all the more exciting.

The agreement means they have signed to work together with the aim to develop, test and release a solution that will make networks secure against current and future security threats such as quantum supremacy. They plan on using this opportunity to demonstrate how seamlessly Arqit’s  QuantumCloud™ product can be integrated into Juniper’s current networks to protect against BGP and SD-WAN security threats. Software-defined networking combined with the ability to dynamically provision networks, means network providers like Juniper have the opportunity to provide strong, active authentication of devices through a quantum secure key exchange mechanism.

It’s quite a smart move from both Arqit and Juniper Network to pool their resources and tools together in order to provide each of their customers with a unique solution that’s yet to grace the market. Each company’s customers will benefit from the combined expertise that promises to deliver in a big way!

Want to know more about the partnership? Read the full press release here:

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