How Much Funding I$ $ufficient for Quantum Cyber$ecurity?

Are agencies like Energy funding quantum technology wisely? – FedScoop

In brief…

+  The National Quantum Initiative Act of 2018 allocated $1.2 billion to three areas: research at the National Science Foundation, standardization at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and critical infrastructure protection at DOE.

+  But of the $30 million DOE’s Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response awarded during the last research call, only $3 million went toward quantum key distribution (QKD) — a controversial, 30-year-old technology rooted in the laws of physics.

+  John Prisco, CEO of QKD company Quantum Xchange, would like to see more of those funds put toward a QKD proof of concept at DOE.

“You could protect critical infrastructure and their [supervisory control and data acquisition] systems using quantum keys,” Prisco told FedScoop.

+  QKD is arguably the most mature quantum technology to date, sharing secret keys made of light — photon by photon — across optical fiber networks. Each photon is encoded with a one or a zero and, taken as a bit sequence, used in cryptographic protocols.

+  More importantly from a security perspective, if a hacker attempts to intercept the key, they will disrupt its quantum state. This introduces errors, rendering the key useless and revealing the intrusion.

+  If quantum computers are an offensive weapon against cryptography, then quantum keys are a defensive weapon and currently “the only actionable system available” to protect communications channels like the one belonging to the FBI that Russia breached in 2010, Prisco said.

+  With China set to outspend the U.S. on quantum technologies, Prisco envisions quantum keys future-proofing data with a long shelf life and post-quantum cryptography’s software-based algorithms protecting classical computers.

+  “I would say the U.S. is ahead of China in the area of quantum computers. China is definitely ahead of the U.S. in quantum keys,” Prisco said. “This is a lot like the space race in the 1960s. The U.S. cannot afford to come in second on quantum keys.”

Source:  fed scoop.  Dave Nyczeipr,  Are agencies like Energy funding quantum technology wisely?

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