As innovators continue to make progress with quantum computers, organisations that process sensitive data for ten or more years, such as governments, financial services and healthcare, need to start planning for a post-quantum computing world.
Called ‘The Quantum Revolution: Security Implications and Considerations’, the white paper outlines security issues raised by quantum computing and introduces the identity-based public key cryptography MIKEY-SAKKE as a good candidate to be made quantum-safe. It offers a possible approach to make MIKEY-SAKKE quantum-safe and highlights the importance of doing so, due to the unique benefits this type of cryptography offers to enterprise. The paper also provides a framework for assessing when work should start on replacing public key cryptosystems.
The main difference between currently deployed (so-called ‘classic’) computers and quantum computers is that classic computers operate on bits (zero or one), while quantum computers operate on qubits (zero, one, or a little bit of both). As a result, quantum computers are more adept at solving a number of problems that are beyond the computing capability of classic computers and threaten to undermine the security assumptions upon which currently widely adopted public key cryptographic algorithms are based.
The paper introduces the MIKEY-SAKKE identity-based public key cryptography standard, and explains that this cryptography standard, if made quantum safe, would continue to offer a combination of benefits if compared with other quantum safe cryptography. It is highly scalable, requiring no prior setup between users or distribution of user certificates. It is flexible, supporting real-time communications, conference calls, and deferred delivery, such as messaging and voicemail. It is designed to be centrally managed, giving a domain manager full control of the security of the system while maintaining availability, as calling does not require interaction with centralised architecture.
ISARA, as a partner member of Secure Chorus, is working on the development of a Post-Quantum Identity-Based Crypto Scheme to update MIKEY-SAKKE. Secure Chorus leverages the key innovations developed in MIKEY-SAKKE – Secure Chorus’ open cryptography standard of choice – to address modern needs for secure multimedia communications. Secure Chorus’ interoperability standards allow for the creation of a marketplace of compliant secure multimedia solutions with essential functionality that suits the requirements of the day-to-day activities of a wide range of users.
To help organisations assess if and when they need to start working on protecting themselves against the threat posed by quantum computers, the paper highlights the following key considerations: how long an organisation is required to retain sensitive information, as well as how long a full transition to post-quantum cryptography will take, providing a framework for assessing when work to make cryptography standards quantum-safe should start.
To download a copy of ‘The Quantum Revolution: Security Implications and Considerations’ go to the Secure Chorus website www.securechorus.org/resources/.