IT disaster recovery, cloud computing and information security news

The US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has announced that it developing a new post-quantum cryptographic standard  to replace current public-key cryptography, which is vulnerable to quantum-based attack. Despite the 2024 timescale, NIST says that organizations should start preparing for the transition now by following the Post-Quantum Cryptography Roadmap, which includes:

  • Inventorying your organization’s systems for applications that use public-key cryptography.
  • Testing the new post-quantum cryptographic standard in a lab environment; however, organizations should wait until the official release to implement the new standard in a production environment.
  • Creating a plan for transitioning your organization’s systems to the new cryptographic standard that includes:
    • Performing an interdependence analysis, which should reveal issues that may impact the order of systems transition;
    • Decommissioning old technology that will become unsupported upon publication of the new standard; and
    • Ensuring validation and testing of products that incorporate the new standard.
  • Creating acquisition policies regarding post-quantum cryptography. This process should include:
    • Setting new service levels for the transition.
    • Surveying vendors to determine possible integration into your organization’s roadmap and to identify needed foundational technologies.
  • Alerting your organization’s IT departments and vendors about the upcoming transition.
  • Educating your organization’s workforce about the upcoming transition and providing any applicable training.

More details.

What’s the difference between post-quantum cryptography and quantum-resistant cryptography?

NIST says that the term post-quantum cryptography is often referred to as quantum-resistant cryptography and includes, ‘cryptographic algorithms or methods that are assessed not to be specifically vulnerable to attack by either a CRQC [cryptanalytically relevant quantum computer] or classical computer’.

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