Quantum-resistant Cryptography: Lattice Cryptography Now Needed. While the U.S. government is not-funding certain “non-essential” aspects of government at present, the NIST quantum-resistant algorithm ‘challenge’ is on a temporary hold. The issue at stake is the collaborative development of quantum computing resistant algorithms: Algorithms and protocols which should be able to resist quantum computing attacks against existing encryption. The quantum-computing nexus is that data being stored today “using existing cryptography methods will eventually be cracked by quantum computers capable of exponentially faster computational performance.”
Existing cryptography standards will not be sufficient to protecting data in ten years – if quantum computers come to full fruition. “[T]he era of quantum computing will allow for many mathematical solutions to be computed simultaneously, making it easier to crack…standard RSA and ECC encryption algorithms.”
Enter Lattice Cryptography. Lattice is thought to be unhackable by quantum computing. “It requires solving for two unknowns – a multiplier array and an offset.” Lattice cryptography is built upon two vector problems. The shortest vector problem (SVP) and the closest vector problem (CVP). Whether lattice cryptography is immune to quantum computer attacks is unproven.
In lieu of marveling at the threat to vulnerable data, there are several actions which a Chief Information Security Officer may invoke now. Without question, in the world of cybersecurity, a risk assessment of your data must be taken. The assessment must note the criticality of the specific datasets and the time, measured in months, years, or decades that the datasets must be protected. An accounting of the encryption standards and the systems used to store, transport, and process the data during encryption, decryption and processing is also necessary. This will inform the cost in time and funds to properly secure critical data in the timeframe needed to beat the clock ticking on the arrival of the quantum computer.