5th ETSI IQC Quantum Safe Workshop

The 5th ETSI/ IQC Workshop on Quantum Safe Security took place on 13-15th September in London.

The conference brought together diverse players in the quantum-safe cybersecurity community – from governments, data centers, critical infrastructure and banks to academics and standards experts – in order to facilitate knowledge exchange and collaboration. The goal was to understand how to transition cyber infrastructures and business practices to make them safe in an era with quantum computers.

The first day of the conference – the executive track – was introduced by The Chief Scientific Advisor to the UK government, Sir Mark Walport. This track was dedicated to understanding better the threats posed by a quantum computer and the possible solutions.

A talk by Sir Peter Knight, Chair of the Quantum Metrology Institute, National Physical Laboratory in the introductory session stressed strongly the need to incorporate both Quantum Resistant algorithms and Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) in a final holistic quantum-safe solution. Sir Peter Knight co-authored the Blackett Report on Quantum Technologies, which we mentioned in our November 2016 Newsletter.

Dr Mike Mosca spoke on the benefits of a quantum risk assessment for governments and businesses, followed by a session on the measures governments were taking to counter such threats with participants from UK, Canadian, US and Dutch governments. Following a session on critical IT infrastructures, ID Quantique participated in the panel on real threats and solutions for industry and enterprise with members from IDQ Swiss headquarters (SVP of Quantum Safe Security, Kelly Richdale) and from IDQ’s joint venture in China (Vice General Manager, William Huang).

In the following 2 days of the technical track, participants got down the technical details on the exact hows and whens of quantum computing, and the options to provide quantum resistant algorithms and quantum cryptography. IDQ’s Bruno Huttner gave a talk on the company’s plans for quantum cryptography in space – the new hot topic.

If you would like to know more about this topic, a copy of our presentation is available for download here.

In general, none of the participants questioned the feasibility of a commercially viable quantum computer which will jeopardise our existing public key infrastructures, and while they sometime disagreed on the exact timing, the general consensus appeared to be between 10-20 years. While physicists and mathematicians still diverge on which will be the best solution, most of them agreed that both disciplines were required to achieve quantum-safe security in the face of the upcoming quantum cyber threats.

All presentations available for download here : https://docbox.etsi.org/Workshop/2017/201709_ETSI_IQC_QUANTUMSAFE

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