February 24, 2024

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Post-Quantum Computing Risk Awareness in the U.S.

Preparing Critical Infrastructure for Post-Quantum Cryptography is the new Insight from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), which gives critical infrastructure and government network owners and operators an overview of the potential effects of quantum computing on National Critical Functions (NCFs) and suggests steps they can take right away to start preparing for the change.

“While post-quantum computing is expected to produce significant benefits, we must take action now to manage potential risks, including the ability to break public key encryption that U.S. networks rely on to secure sensitive information,” says Mona Harrington, acting Assistant Director National Risk Management Centre, CISA. “Critical infrastructure and government leaders must be proactive and begin preparing for the transition to post-quantum cryptography now.

While quantum computing offers faster and more powerful computation, it also introduces new hazards to crucial infrastructure systems throughout the 55 NCFs. To identify the urgent vulnerabilities and NCFs that are most necessary to address first and the three NCF areas to prioritise for public-private involvement and collaboration, this CISA Insight includes findings from an assessment conducted on quantum vulnerabilities to the NCFs.

The switch to post-quantum encryption was cited as a priority by Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas in his strategy for cybersecurity resilience in March 2021.

CISA advises all owners of critical infrastructure to adhere to the Post-Quantum Cryptography Roadmap and the recommendations in this CISA Insight to achieve a quick and effective transition. The roadmap outlines concrete actions that enterprises should take, such as inventorying their current cryptographic systems, developing post-quantum cryptography purchasing procedures, and preparing their employees for the impending transition.

Moreover, email, online banking, and online messaging, among other digital communications, rely on data encryption integrated into the devices and programmes used to transfer data. This encryption is based on mathematical functions that safeguard data in transit from tampering or spying.

The mathematical functions in public key encryption, also known as asymmetric encryption, rely on cryptographic keys to encrypt data and authenticate the sender and recipient. To safeguard data, public key encryption requires that each message employ two distinct but linked keys (one called a public key and the other a private key). The sender and receiver of data do not disclose their private keys, whereas public keys can be communicated without compromising cryptographic security.

The sender encodes the communication using their private key and supplies the recipient with their public key to decode it. The recipient will use the same technique to respond and will disclose their public key.

Since only two keys can decode a message, digital signatures enable a party to sign a message with their private key while verifiers use the sender’s public key to validate that the sender sent the message. All firms use public key cryptography routinely to send emails securely, validate digital signatures, secure sensitive data, and protect online user information.

When quantum computers achieve greater levels of computational power and speed, they will be able to break public key encryption, posing a danger to the security of corporate transactions, secure communications, digital signatures, and customer data.

Experts believe quantum computers will have less of an influence on symmetric key encryption, in which the sender and receiver use the same key to protect data. Rather than requiring quantum-resistant algorithms, symmetric key cryptography can alleviate the threat posed by quantum computing by adopting greater key sizes while maintaining the same level of security as it does now.

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

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CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.

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Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

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HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

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IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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