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EU Commission publishes recommendation on Post-Quantum Cryptography implementation

An image showcasing the EU Commission publication on Recommendation on Post-Quantum Cryptography implementation

The European commission has issued a paper urging on a Coordinated Implementation Roadmap for the transition to Post-Quantum Cryptography. It encourages Member States to develop and implement a harmonised approach as the EU transitions to post-quantum cryptography. This aims to ensure that the EU’s digital infrastructures and services are secure in the next digital era.

As part of it, the EU Commission encourages hybrid schemes that combine Post-Quantum Cryptography (PQC) with existing cryptographic approaches or with Quantum Key Distribution (QKD).

That’s good news. The migration to quantum-safe communication can be significantly derisked and accelerated with the appropriate use of cryptographic hybridization: the deployment of QKD in the existing telecommunication backbone infrastructure can be combined with PQC thanks to IDQ’s new Quantum Key Exchange platform: Clarion KX.

This defence in depth approach mitigates the long-term risk to the data posed by the rapidly emerging quantum threat and it guarantees end-to-end security on any location in the network. Furthermore, a sound combination of QKD and PQC allows for increased cryptographic agility, while minimizing the ongoing investment in time and resources.

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Shaping EU’s digital infrastructure with quantum technology

In a white paper published earlier in February on: How to master Europe’s digital infrastructure needs, the EU explained the necessary steps to ensure a cutting-edge digital network infrastructure to guarantee a flourishing digital economy and society as part of the EU’s Digital Decade Policy Programme 2030.

One of the points highlighted in the report covered the availability of high-quality, reliable and secure connectivity for everybody and everywhere in the Union, using quantum technology. The necessary investments are said to be massive. A modern regulatory framework that incentivizes the transition from legacy copper networks to fiber networks, the development of 5G and other wireless networks and cloud-based infrastructures as well as the scale up of operators within the single market, and which takes account of emerging technologies such as quantum communication, is mentioned as key to ensure that Europe has the advanced, secured communications and computing infrastructure it needs. Short of that, the paper highlights the EU risks missing its 2030 digital targets and falling behind other leading regions as regards competitiveness and economic growth and related user benefits.

Going more in depth, the paper states that “in the long-term, Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) will offer additional security to our communications, at the physical network layer. Hybrid implementation schemes PQC/QKD are part of guidelines issued by different National Security Agencies and enter discussions about the design of coordinated actions at EU level. The combination of QKD and PQC will allow for full end-to-end security in our digital communications. […] In principle, QKD will represent a full paradigmatic shift of the digital infrastructure ecosystem, and constitutes already now a forward-looking, highly competitive technology of high interest also for future applications such as the Quantum Internet.”

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