Quantum-resistant Cryptography for a Quantumocalypse
Quantum-Resistant Cryptography: Our Best Defense Against An Impending Quantum Apocalypse
Points to note…
+ Although a practical quantum computer has yet to be developed, incremental progress made during the past several years leads experts to believe that we may not be far off.
+ One expected outcome of quantum computing is that the world’s existing cryptographic infrastructure will have to change in a fundamental way. Due to a smart piece of mathematics from the 1990s called Shor’s algorithm, the quantum computing architecture should turn out to be much more effective than traditional computing architecture at defeating Rivest–Shamir–Adleman (RSA) and elliptic-curve cryptography (ECC)-based encryption, today’s most common encryption types. If the industry does not adapt, it risks leaving the door open to widespread compromise.
Fortunately, we know quantum computers are coming. That gives thought leaders from the industry, academia and the government the opportunity to combine efforts and arrive at (and deploy) the quantum-resistant cryptographic solutions that the global economy will soon require.
+ Any algorithm that proves suitable for widespread future use will have to meet multiple criteria:
• Fast to encrypt using traditional computers
• Fast to decrypt (with the private key) using traditional computers
• Impractical to decrypt (without the private key) using either traditional or quantum computers
• Compatible with a vast range of software, hardware and services that we depend on today
• Well-understood and vetted against potential attacks
+ We must not undervalue this last point. The underpinnings of our current cryptographic infrastructure have been tested through real-world use on the world’s most attractive targets for several decades. The proven nature of these algorithms gives them tremendous value. Now, we need to rapidly vet our new candidate algorithms to ensure they deserve our confidence in protecting the world’s monetary systems, confidential information and critical infrastructure.
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