In typical laser communications classical information is encoded by modulating the amplitude of the laser beam and measured via direct detection. We add a layer of security using quantum physics to this standard scheme, applicable to free-space channels. We consider a simultaneous classical-quantum communication scheme where the classical information is encoded in the usual way and the quantum information is encoded as fluctuations of a sub-Poissonian noise-floor. For secret key generation, we consider a continuous-variable quantum key distribution protocol (CVQKD) using a Gaussian ensemble of squeezed states and direct detection. Under the assumption of passive attacks secure key generation and classical communication can proceed simultaneously. Compared with standard CVQKD, which is secure against unrestricted attacks, our added layer of quantum security is simple to implement, robust and does not affect classical data rates. We perform detailed simulations of the performance of the protocol for a free-space atmospheric channel. We analyse security of the CVQKD protocol in the composable finite-size regime.