If the U.S. Begins Now, Quantum Catastrophe Could be Averted
How the US can avert a ‘quantum catastrophe’
+ The possibility of quantum computers undermining current encryption is roughly 15 years away, but risks increase if PQC is not in place by that time. Additionally, there is a “retroactive risk” to currently encrypted information, which will become vulnerable when today’s encryption standards fail in the face of quantum-powered code breakers. Lack of consumer awareness about the risks posed by quantum computing suggests that government should drive the required policy changes, they said.
“If the United States acts in time, however, with appropriate policies, risk reduction measures, a whole-of-government approach, and a collective sense of urgency, it has an opportunity to build a future communications infrastructure that is as safe as or safer than the status quo,” the report said. “The United States has the solutions, the means, and, very likely, sufficient time to avert a quantum catastrophe and build a safer future, but only if it begins preparations now.”
+ The [RAND] report offers nine recommendations, addressed to the executive branch, Congress and individual organizations.
+ The White House should dedicate a coordinating body for prioritizing a national response and mandating PQC transition for government agencies, critical infrastructure and the companies in the government supply chain. Further, it should ensure all agencies are working across government and with industry partners to improve overall awareness of PQC, update guidance and make contingency plans. The report also called on the administration to minimize the number of algorithms the National Institute of Standards and Technology is evaluating for a post-quantum secure standard.
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