As our world becomes increasingly interconnected and digital, the need for robust cybersecurity measures has never been more important. This is particularly true for federal organizations, which handle critical sensitive information and face a variety of sophisticated cyber threats.
One of the most pressing challenges that federal organizations face is the potential threat posed by quantum computers. With their ability to break traditional encryption methods, quantum computers could compromise information security, posing a significant risk to national security and individual privacy.
In this blog, we will explore why federal organizations are increasingly turning to quantum-resistant cryptography to protect their networks and sensitive information.
The Growing Need for Quantum-Resistant Cryptography
Quantum-resistant cryptography is becoming more of a focus for federal organizations in light of the quantum threat that grows closer all the time. Traditional encryption methods, such as the widely used RSA algorithm, rely on the fact that factoring large prime numbers is a difficult problem for classical computers. However, quantum computers can solve this problem much faster using a technique known as Shor’s algorithm. This means that once quantum computers become powerful enough, traditional encryption methods will become obsolete.
The threat of quantum computers to traditional encryption methods is not merely hypothetical. In recent years, several important advances have been made in the development of quantum computers. For example, Google’s quantum computer, Sycamore, was able to solve a problem that would have taken classical computers thousands of years in just 200 seconds.
Given the potential risks posed by quantum computers, federal organizations are taking proactive steps to protect their networks and sensitive information. One of the most promising approaches is the use of quantum-resistant cryptography, also known as post-quantum cryptography. Quantum-resistant cryptography is based on mathematical problems that are believed to be hard even for quantum computers to solve.
Government Initiatives in Quantum-Resistant Cryptography
While quantum-resistant cryptography is still a relatively new field, significant progress has been made in recent years. In 2016, the U.S National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) launched a competition to select quantum-resistant algorithms that could be standardized for use in federal systems. This competition attracted submissions from around the world, and in 2022, NIST announced the four finalists.
Governments around the world have become strong advocates for the transition to quantum-resistant data security — Europe launched the European Quantum Communication Infrastructure Initiative and funding programs, and several other countries are following suit with similar initiatives including Japan, China, and Singapore.
In the U.S, The White House published a number of documents in 2022 regarding the quantum issue — the Biden Administration issued National Security Memorandum 10 in May, which outlined the direction U.S government agencies must take to migrate vulnerable cryptographic systems to quantum-resistant cryptography.
Following this, the House passed the Quantum Computing Cybersecurity Preparedness Act, similarly addressing executive agencies’ migration of their information systems to post-quantum cryptography. The Act mandates that federal agencies will be required to inventory relevant items ahead of the change, with a year given to prepare a budget and strategy to transition away from current cryptographic standards, and a requirement that agencies update these systems annually.
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) subsequently published a set of guidelines to help critical infrastructure organizations make the transition; their document, “Preparing Critical Infrastructure for Post-Quantum Cryptography” stresses the need to begin the migration now to mitigate the substantial risks posed by quantum computing. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has published their own ‘Post-Quantum Cryptography Roadmap’ to help guide transition preparations, and the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) has posed a deadline of April 2030 for all enterprises to complete implementation of post-quantum infrastructure.
The writing is on the wall. The transition to quantum-resistant cryptography is well under way, and federal organizations must adapt now and adopt the necessary changes to remain compliant and secure.
Given the increasing interest and investment in quantum computing by both governments and the private sector, it is likely that quantum computers will become more powerful in the coming years, and the need for quantum-resistant cryptography will only become more pressing.
The adoption of quantum-resistant cryptography by federal organizations is a proactive step that will help to ensure the security of sensitive information, and the integrity of critical infrastructure. As quantum computers continue to develop, quantum-resistant cryptography is set to become an increasingly important tool in the fight against cyber threats.
Enterprise-Ready, Quantum-Resistant Data Security
The fight against cyber threats gets a game-changing boost with Theon Technology’s quantum-resistant encryption tools.
Theon utilizes patented, quantum-resistant algorithms to provide a truly scalable, commercially viable, enterprise ready, one-time pad inspired security solution without the need for specialized hardware.
The TheonSDK™ Software Development Toolkit offers our OTP-inspired encryption tools for developers to integrate into their applications. It includes:
TheonRNG™ — Theon’s Random Number Generator is the foundation of true security, generating higher entropy random numbers, with no repeats, ever.
TheonEncrypt™ — TheonEncrypt™ encryption offers a unique approach that finally enables commercial viability of quantum-resistant encryption for both data at-rest and in-flight.
Today’s data needs better security — Theon delivers the encryption tools organizations need for more secure, quantum-resistant enterprise communication.
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.