Technology is advancing at an incredible rate, and with it the potential threats to our online security. One of the most significant concerns on the horizon is the threat of quantum computers. These powerful machines have the potential to break many of the encryption methods currently relied upon to protect our data.
Taking proactive measures in the face of these impending threats is a must. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at the strategies and technologies that are being developed to help organizations keep their data secure in a quantum world.
The Quantum Threat
The quantum threat refers to the security risks that are arising from the development of quantum computers, which will be able to perform certain types of calculations exponentially faster and more efficiently than traditional computers.
Modern encryption algorithms rely on the difficulty of factoring large numbers — but what would take a classical computer thousands of years to solve, a quantum computer could do in seconds.
While quantum computers are still in development, our current encryption is at risk, and organizations need to start preparing for challenging times ahead with the most robust, advanced encryption available. Many are turning to better random number generation, and OTP-inspired encryption.
True Random Number Generation
The foundation of true data security starts with true random number generation. Quality random number generation is what most encryption relies upon, but many software algorithms today feature subtle, buried, repeating patterns, making them vulnerable to being cracked by an attacker with enough computing power.
A high-quality, truly random number generator is essential for ensuring the security and integrity of cryptographic systems. The most secure option is considered to be hardware generators, which are based on physical processes such as radioactive decay or atmospheric noise, but these can be hampered by challenges such as cost, slow number generation, and “silently” breaking, producing decreasingly random number generation as they degrade.
Software-based solutions are emerging that are based on more sophisticated algorithms that enable them to mimic true random number generators. A quality, software-based RNG produces keys that are unique, one-off “bit strings” of characters that are long — the longer the bit strings, the less repeating of numerals — and genuinely random. Bit string randomness depends in large part on the quality of numerical “seeds” used to generate keys.
Flaws in random number generation equate to weak data security. To better protect data now and into the quantum age, organizations are implementing cryptography solutions that generate more random, less vulnerable keys with intrinsically better entropy.
One-Time Pad Encryption
True random number generation is a fundamental component of one-time pad (OTP) encryption. One-time pad encryption is symmetric encryption that uses a truly random secret key, only once, that is as long as the plaintext message it’s encrypting. The unique, long, truly random quality of the secret key is what makes OTP encryption the most secure form of encryption available.
Considered the “gold standard” of cryptography, the one-time pad when implemented correctly is impossible to break, as mathematically proved by cryptographer Claude Shannon in 1949. However, it does have limitations, one major one being an element that helps make it so strong — the fact that the key has to be as long as the plaintext message makes it difficult to transmit or store large amounts of data securely, making it impractical for enterprise-use.
Fortunately, some researchers and companies are re-thinking and re-inventing OTP for the enterprise. New technologies are being developed that are inspired by the principles of OTP, offering similar levels of security, but that are able to be used at scale. These technologies use techniques such as quantum key distribution or post-quantum cryptography to provide secure key exchange, and secure communication.
These technological breakthroughs signify a momentous step on the road to perfect information security — made all the more significant in light of the fast-approaching age of quantum computing. To better protect sensitive data against quantum threats, organizations are finding game-changing solutions in true random number generation and OTP made practical for the enterprise.
Securing Your Organization’s Data Against Quantum Threats
For modern organizations looking to protect data from quantum threats, considering updated security tools and a trusted security partner is critical.
Theon Technology™ software incorporates patented methodologies that help protect against the impending quantum compute threats with a focus on data sovereignty, data security, and data compression, providing a software approach supporting multiple deployment models. Our products, TheonRNG™ Random Number Generator and TheonEncrypt™ encryption— put us on the road to delivering, for the first time, a commercially viable one-time pad (OTP) at enterprise scale.
TheonRNG™ is Theon’s random number generator, generating higher entropy random numbers, with no repeats, ever. This irrational random number generation provides the foundation for quantum-resistant one-time pad-inspired encryption.
TheonEncrypt™ is Theon’s patented one-time pad-inspired encryption solution, finally enabling commercial viability of quantum-proof encryption for both data at-rest and in-flight. TheonEncrypt™ encryption reduces the OTP key storage and transmission overhead, making secure keys practical for deployment across multiple use cases.
Organizations need the best in cybersecurity to prepare for quantum threats, and the best is available now with Theon’s true random number generation and enterprise-ready OTP-inspired encryption.
Get started with quantum-resistant encryption today — Contact a Theon expert to begin the journey towards a revolution in data security for your organization. We also have free eBooks available for download, including our latest, The Secure Enterprise Communication Handbook, which offers an overview that will help you better address the strategic decisions necessary to protect your data.