CISA's Post-Quantum Cryptography Initiative

Critical infrastructure systems use electronic digital communications to transmit data and store info. To secure the data in transit, cryptographic technologies are used to authenticate the source and protect the confidentiality and integrity of communicated and stored information. But as quantum computing advances over the next decade, it is increasing risk to certain widely used encryption methods. 

The disruptive promise of scaled quantum computing comes with a threat to the security of many of our most widely used crypto-graphic algorithms.

Now, the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has announced the establishment of a Post-Quantum Cryptography Initiative to unify and drive agency efforts to address threats posed by quantum computing. This is because nation-states and private companies are actively pursuing the capabilities of quantum computers.

Quantum computing opens up exciting new possibilitie. However, the consequences of this new technology include threats to the current cryptographic standards that ensure data confidentiality and integrity and support key elements of network security. One of the first things a company needs is an understanding of its current cryptography, to identify systems and software that will need to be upgraded or replaced with post-quantum cryptography. “Post-quantum crypto-graphy is about proactively developing and building capabilities to secure critical information and systems from being compromised through the use of quantum computers,” comments Rob Joyce, Director Cybersecurity at the US National Security Agency (NSA).

The transition to a secured quantum computing era is a long-term intensive community effort that will require extensive collaboration between government and industry. "The key is to be on this journey today and not wait until the last minute." according to Joyce.

While quantum computing technology capable of breaking public key encryption algorithms in the current standards does not yet exist, government and critical infrastructure entities, including both public and private organisations, must work together to prepare for a new post-quantum crypto-graphic standard to defend against future threats.

CISA:     DHS:     CISA:     Homeland Security Today:     Business Wire:     VM Ware:    

The Quantum Insider       Image: xresch

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