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Information security in a Quantum Age

To keep secret information safe from adversaries, it is absolutely essential to be forward thinking when it comes to information security. This is especially true in the Quantum age where quantum computers can break today’s most popular ciphers.

Quantum computers - change the world

Quantum is the Latin word for amount and means the smallest possible discrete unit of any physical property, such as energy or matter. In the same way that bits are used in a classical computer, at the heart of the quantum computer are quantum bits or qubits which can store information in quantum form.

With a quantum computer you can tackle problems that would take our best classical computers millions of years to solve. They can perform very rapid parallel computations and thus are able to solve problems like searching and factoring. Moreover, they also have the potential to accelerate the development of artificial intelligence and be vital for modelling chemical reactions which could e.g. mean more efficient medicine or batteries.

 

A new threat to encryption solutions and information security

Quantum computers are machines that use the properties of quantum physics to store data and perform computations. This can be extremely advantageous for certain tasks where they could vastly outperform even the best supercomputers.

Right now, the security of the most popular ciphers used in encryption systems rely on the mathematical difficulty of breaking down large numbers into prime numbers. Classical computers, which include smartphones and laptops, encode information in binary “bits” that can either be 0s or 1s. This is called factoring, and for classical computers, it is tremendously slow, expensive, and impractical. On the other hand, quantum computers running Shor’s algorithm can easily and extremely fast do such calculations.

In 1994, MIT Professor Peter Shor presented an algorithm that proved how the mathematical challenge of great prime numbers could be cracked – and thus, quantum computers turned into a problem for cryptography. 

The quick computation has a direct connection to encryption. Cryptographic theses based on assumption that certain mathematical calculations take an extremely long time (in other words are practically impossible to do) are simply thrown out by quantum computers. Communication protected today by such cryptographic algorithms must therefore be viewed as insecure or at least that they carry a distinct risk.

In fact, quantum computers can quickly break cryptographic keys for vulnerable ciphers and an attacker can decrypt private communications, which is a huge problem for secure communication - the very principal of secure communication is compromised.

The quantum computer poses an immediate threat towards much of the ciphers the world is using today. However, sufficiently large commercial quantum computers that can be used to attack ciphers are likely to be years away. Although that should not be of any reassurance: even if attackers cannot access the data right now, they can collect and save it while waiting for a quantum computer to be available.

 

Quantum age

 

Five key facts in the Quantum Age you must remember

  1. Quantum computers are becoming available to all
  2. Quantum technology parallel mode makes computers superfast
  3. Quantum computers crack conventional encryption
  4. The quantum threat isn’t perceptible, yet
  5. There are secure solutions on the market today

 

Do you want to know more about these five facts? Read more in our blog post.

 

Why quantum-secure key management is important

A challenge in general with encryption is key management. It is well known that all protection should be borne by the secrecy of the crypto key, not the secrecy of which algorithm you used. This makes key management important. The so-called public key cryptosystems have the advantage that they require fewer keys in total to allow a given number of individuals to communicate securely with each of the others than what those called secret key cryptosystems have. A problem is that the quantum computer has been shown to put sticks in the wheels of the asymmetric key systems.

 

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Quantum-secure communication today

With arrival of quantum computers, the most popular encryption algorithms are no longer able to provide adequate protection to information with extended lifetime. Quantum secure communication are methods which are expected to be 'quantum safe' in the advent of a quantum computing systems that could break current cryptography systems.

Here are four major reasons to invest in these future-proof solutions already today:

  1. You can digitalise efficiently and responsibly
  2. You secure sufficient protection considering the technology development of attackers
  3. You get a long-term sustainable solution
  4. You are stronger in audits

 

Read more about these four reasons in our blog post!

 

Quantum-secure encryption for information security

The problem with insecure encryption algorithms can be solved with Advenica's unique network encryption solution, a solution that utilises quantum-secure algorithms for secure key distribution “by design”. 

With quantum-secure encryption (256-bit keys for symmetric encryption gives enough security even considering quantum threats) and wide range of tactical features, SecuriVPN ISA enables defence, critical infrastructure and public sector to take the digital revolution to the next level. Simple future-proof key management, versatile high-availability features and ability to communicate over low and high-quality transmission layers provides ease of use as well as resilient communications. Additional functionalities, such as multicast support, quality of service, dynamic routing, radio silence and emergency erase, enable a wide range of use cases.

SecuriVPN ISA protects against interception, replay attacks and manipulation of information. It enables sustainable secure communication of classified information over open networks. It has a unique patented security feature – the Three Domain Separation and a future-proof key management. It also has a central administration with easy-to-use intuitive graphical user interface.

Advenica's network encryption solution SecuriVPN is certified for use up to and including the highest information classification level, SECRET. Read more about SecuriVPN and how it can protect your information!
 

Read more about quantum-safe communication in our White Paper Cryptography in a Quantum Age!