Technological advances are bringing large-scale quantum computers closer to reality. While they will bring great benefit to society, they will also undermine some of the key cryptographic pillars of cybersecurity. It is thus imperative that the cryptographic underpinnings of cybersecurity are made resistant to quantum attacks before quantum computers threaten them. Quantum-safe cryptography includes conventional “post-quantum” cryptography (PQC) algorithms (sometimes referred to as “quantum-resistant” algorithms (QRA)) and quantum key distribution (QKD).
The long complex path to making our cyber systems safe in an era with quantum computers requires planning and collaboration amongst many stakeholders. Part of this plan is mapping out the role for QKD in future cryptographic infrastructure, and this initiative is a key step in this regard.
The project also lays the foundation for further development of a QKD-based key establishment system to work alongside conventional PQC-based cryptographic tools. Together, QKD and PQC will provide the foundations for cryptography in an era with quantum computers.