Definition: Post-quantum cryptography (also known as quantum-proof, quantum-safe, or quantum-resistant cryptography), refers to cryptographic algorithms (often public-key algorithms) that are expected to be secure against a cryptanalytic assault by a quantum computer.
Post Quantum Cryptography (PQC) explained
Quantum computers are machines that use quantum mechanical processes to solve mathematical problems that are difficult or unsolvable for conventional, binary computers. They are operating much faster than traditional binary computers, based on a logic grounded on 3 states. They have the potential to revolutionize computing, communications, and artificial intelligence. However, if this technology falls into the wrong hands, it will be capable of deciphering asymmetric algorithms, the algorithms used for support encryption today. Quantum computers would break many of the public-key cryptosystems in use, compromising the privacy and security of digital communications on the internet and elsewhere.
The objective of post-quantum cryptography is to create cryptographic systems that are safe against both quantum and conventional computers while also being compatible with existing communication protocols and networks. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in the United States has initiated the process of selecting, evaluating and standardizing PQC algorithms. The mandate of this program is to eventually produce PQC algorithms that will be resistant to attacks by quantum computers and should be easily incorporated with existing computing platforms.
In alignment with the NIST activities, Utimaco provides solutions that are quantum-proof in line with current state-of-the-art, enabling companies to protect their systems against quantum computer-based attacks. A crypto-agile design allows users to rapidly upgrade to improved algorithms effectively and with minimal effort, when these become available. Such incremental optimizations are likely as quantum computers are just emerging. Evidence, zero-day-flaws and lessons learnt will most likely produce upgrades regularly. The Q-safe 1.0 firmware extension combined with Utimaco’s CryptoServer HSM enables the use of new algorithms that have been developed to withstand quantum computers. Double encryption (complemented with industry-grade algorithms) will secure compliance with applicable standards and regulation.