Why it is time to implement a Quantum-Safe Network
In an article published in Forbes this month, IDQ CEO Gregoire Ribordy explains why it’s time to implement a quantum-safe network. As the quantum technologies ecosystem continues to expand rapidly, advances in QKD and PQC make a compelling case for cybersecurity professionals to act today to secure the future.
“Conventional wisdom states we are in the quantum decade. By the end of the 2020s, there will be commercially viable quantum computing resources widely available.
Much of the data that traverses today’s public and private network infrastructure is sensitive in nature – private citizen data, national security, financial records, healthcare data, intellectual property. This exposes it to “harvest now, decrypt later” attacks. To secure today’s infrastructure for tomorrow, there are two separate, but complementary, solutions available:
- Post-quantum cryptography (PQC) is the use of next-generation crypto algorithms that are believed to be resistant to quantum cyberattacks.
- Quantum key distribution (QKD) is a secure platform that provides guaranteed forward secrecy of encryption keys.
Together, they address the core cryptographic principles of confidentiality, integrity, authenticity, non-repudiation and key management.”
In the article, Mr Ribordy digs a little deeper into the two different technologies, explaining the progress that has been made by NIST in the US to standardize the first set of post-quantum algorithms. In a process that began in 2016, last month saw the publication of the first three draft FIPS standards for module-lattice-based key encapsulation mechanisms, module-lattice-based digital signatures and stateless hash-based digital signature.
Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) is a much more mature technology than PQC, with IDQ having released it’s fourth generation of QKD solutions in 2022. Originally designed for point-to-point networks, QKD solutions are now being deployed in large networks and are fully integrated with the optical transport network and encryption layers. IDQ’s Clarion KX key management suite, in combination with QKD and PQC offerings enables to secure fiber optic communication networks of customers around the world.
It is important to note that these technologies are complementing each other. Tomorrow’s quantum-safe network infrastructure will feature both PQC and QKD to enhance overall network security and enable the implementation of zero-trust architecture.
“Before the end of the decade, we should see quantum computing, communications and networking working hand in hand with classical technologies to deliver next-generation security, confidentiality, authenticity and integrity of data. The technology is already being implemented around the world to secure key networks requiring long-term security. It’s time to act now to reach this point of safety.”