NIST Publishes “How-to” for Shifting Cryptographic Methods Ala Protect Systems from Quantum Computing. Last week the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology released Special Publication 800-131A Revision 2, “Transitioning the Use of Cryptographic Algorithms and Key Lengths”.
The document addresses not only the possibility of new cryptanalysis, but also the increasing power of classical computing technology and the potential emergence of quantum computers. NIST provides cryptographic key management guidance for defining and implementing appropriate key management procedures, using algorithms that adequately protect sensitive information, and planning ahead for possible changes in the use of cryptography because of algorithm breaks or the availability of more powerful computing techniques.
NIST’s Special Publication (SP) 800-57, Part 1, “Recommendation for Key Management: General“, includes a general approach for transitioning from one algorithm or key length to another. This Recommendation (SP 800-131A) provides more specific guidance for transitions to the use of stronger cryptographic keys and more robust algorithms.