Secure data encryption is vital in today’s data saturated world, especially as cyberattacks grow more frequent and more advanced. Adding to the threat landscape is the impending arrival of quantum computing, set to leave individuals, businesses, and governments alike with anything but perfect secrecy for their most sensitive information.
But there is a way for organizations to be proactive and achieve perfect secrecy now — with quantum-resistant encryption.
The Old Order of Data Encryption
With the goal of implementing data encryption that is practical and economical, the world has come to largely depend on a combination of common-use algorithms and complex public and private keys. But the old order grows ever-more vulnerable on its way to becoming obsolete. Quantum computers powerful enough to break public-key encryption are on their way, posing a significant threat to financial and private data and the security of nation states. The reality is, traditional cryptography methods cannot be depended upon to remain secure into the future.
Under the current data security paradigm, standard-issue encryption is no longer “good enough” — managing large data volumes with limited resources results in gaps in data security that attackers can prey on.
Current practices that pose challenges for data security include:
- A single key is used to encrypt a large volume of data
- The same key is used repeatedly to secure different data depositories
- Cryptographic keys are stored right up against the material they are securing.
A paradigm shift is required, along with high-value next-generation encryption solutions that will securely generate cryptographic keys able to resist the challenges of today, and the ones from greater data volumes, system complexity, and quantum computing soon to arrive.
Future Proofing with One Time Pad Perfect Secrecy and Quantum-Resistant Encryption
Moving forward, any encryption method with less than perfect secrecy simply will not suffice. AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) was adopted in 2002 as a U.S government security standard and thought to be quantum-resistant — but it falls short of achieving absolutely uncrackable, perfect secrecy.
The only undisputed way to perfect secrecy is via the universal gold standard for cryptography, the One Time Pad. Perfect secrecy was first demonstrated in 1945 by Claude Shannon, inventor of information theory, who proved mathematically that when a One Time Pad (OTP) key displays four fundamental attributes, the related encrypted message is unbreakable — even when up against unlimited computing power.
Those four attributes are:
- The key is truly random, with no detectable underlying patterns
- The key is as long as the message being encrypted
- The key is never reused in whole or in part
- The key is kept secret
But perfect secrecy can be difficult to achieve when any one of these attributes isn’t properly implemented. The One Time Pad hasn’t yet been widely adopted due to risks and impracticalities involving key management and scalability. Furthermore, Random Number Generator (RNG) outputs can sometimes contain embedded clues that attackers can discover and use to decode messages.
Post-quantum cryptography solutions are emerging, encouraged by the U.S National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) who are establishing post-quantum cryptography standards.
These quantum-resistant solutions include random number generation with no hidden, repeating patterns to search for, limiting potential attackers to pitching random guesses. OTP solutions are becoming scalable, while maintaining attributes like the key size (dwarfing that of traditional encryption keys) which helps make it so uncrackable. And methods have been developed for truly secure key exchange that solve for the risks involved in transmission and storage, thwarting interception and illicit decryption by adversaries.
One Time Pad made practical and scalable for the enterprise provides the kind of forward-looking perfect secrecy that is basically game over for quantum challenges.
On the Road to Perfect Secrecy – A Revolution in Data Security
On the quest for an encryption solution that addresses the limitations of status quo technology, Theon Technology is leading the way. Theon’s next generation products are focused on providing viable, revolutionary quantum-resistant encryption for both data in flight and at rest.
Theon’s TheonEncrypt™ offers a unique approach that finally enables commercial viability of One Time Pad encryption, providing an innovative way to reduce OTP key storage and transmission overhead.
Theon’s TheonRNG™, our cryptographically secure random number generator (CSRNG), exploits the proven properties of large irrational numbers, generating less vulnerable, quantum-resistant keys at scale with speed and economy. These high-entropy keys anticipate the twin challenges of mathematical advances and quantum processing power and are designed to frustrate them.
Theon Technology sets a new standard for software-based cryptography, representing a decisive step toward the goals of quantum-proof encryption and perfect secrecy for businesses.
Prepare for the future today — Contact a Theon expert to find out how you can achieve perfect secrecy with quantum-resistant encryption. You can also download our free eBooks, including our OTP primer, OTP for the Digital Enterprise, for more information on how Theon’s One Time Pad technology works to deliver perfect secrecy for your data.