PureLiFi technology to deliver “significant security improvements” in fight against cyber crime

A light-based wireless communication network developed by Edinburgh-based mobile communication specialist pureLiFi could become an essential tool for Government and business in combating terrorism and cyber crime.

The pureLiFi system offers a new and secure way of exchanging information over networks, using light rather than radio waves to communicate between devices.

The pureLiFi system offers a new and secure way of exchanging information over networks, using light rather than radio waves to communicate between devices

The pureLiFi system offers a new and secure way of exchanging information over networks, using light rather than radio waves to communicate between devices

The new light-based communication technology, known as Li-Fi, could provide a substantially increased solution to enhance data security for businesses seeking to improve data protection – from Government and defence organisations through to financial, public sector, pharmaceutical or any ‘high data risk’ industries.

Professor Harald Haas, pureLifi’s inventor and Chief Scientific Officer, commented: “Unlike existing wireless systems whose security vulnerabilities have received extensive media coverage in recent months, pureLiFi’s systems are almost impossible to intercept.”

By exploiting specific properties of light, the Li-Fi system prevents both sides of the communications link being intercepted.

Professor Haas continued: “Let us consider what Li-Fi means for the security of public and corporate Internet access. Wi-Fi signals propagate in all directions and pass through walls and all data within range can be recorded. As Li-Fi signals travel in directional beams between an access point and a terminal, and vice versa, a potential interceptor would need to be in the overlapping space of both light beams. Even an unencrypted Li-Fi access point provides better security than Wi-Fi.”

Professor Harald Haas

Professor Harald Haas

He added: “Li-Fi removes the uncertainty of joining a network. In a typical Li-Fi installation, ceiling lights which transmit and receive the data are part of the premises and this creates a chain of accountability for the security of the users’ data. The inherent security advantages of Li-Fi, and the accountability that it offers, provide a supplement to the emerging need for greater data security and responsibility.”

Additional layer of data security

Li-Fi is unlikely to replace Wi-Fi or 4G. Rather, it’s intended to provide a complimentary solution as well as an additional layer of data security and communications for organisations or individuals.

Businesses have already shown great feedback to pureLiFi’s first product, Li-1st. The Li-1st system has been trialled within a number of organisations, with interested sectors including underwater communications, hazardous environments, telecoms, finance, aircraft manufacturing and more.

“In fact, pureLiFi has recently undergone a second production run of the Li-1st system due to the high demand,” explained Professor Haas.

Detail of the Li-1st technology

Detail of the Li-1st technology

Technical development of the pureLiFi system in the coming months will focus on higher data rates, reduced power consumption and miniaturisation. The fully mobile and networked solution (Li-Flame) will be released in the second half of 2014.

The differences between Li-Fi and conventional Wi-Fi at a glance:

* Conventional Wi-Fi travels in all directions

* Li-Fi travels in just one direction

* Conventional Wi-Fi permeates structures including walls

* Li-Fi can only be accessed in rooms/buildings fitted with the necessary technology

* Conventional Wi-Fi allows an attacker to hear both sides of a conversation

* In the unlikely event that an attacker intercepts the Li-Fi signal, he only ‘hears’ one side of the conversation.

Further information on pureLiFi

pureLiFi is a communications technology company formed in 2012, as a spin-out from the University of Edinburgh, to create OEM components, including Li-Fi drivers and receivers.

Visible Light Communication (VLC) is the use of visible light to transmit data wirelessly.

Li-Fi – a term coined by pureLiFi’s Chief Science Officer and ‘father of Li-Fi’, Professor Haas – is a technology based on VLC that provides high speed, bidirectional and full networking capabilities similar to Wi-Fi but with significantly greater spatial reuse of bandwidth.

For more information visit: http://www.purelifi.com

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