The post-quantum world is often described as a doomsday scenario. One of the biggest fears about quantum computing is its ability to break the traditional encryption algorithms that have protected our data for decades.
Migrating to quantum resistant algorithms will take years to integrate into existing systems and processes. Organisations need to achieve crypto-agility – the ability to change, improve, and revoke cryptographic assets to successfully deal with quantum threats.
A new poll from Deloitte finds there is an immediate and significant cyber risk from "harvest now decrypt later" (HNDL) attacks, in which attackers steal encrypted information and simply sit on it until quantum computing advances make it trivial to crack.
Quantum computing now has the potential to capture nearly $700 billion in value as early as 2035. NIST is encouraging U.S. government entities and commercial enterprises to move forward more quickly towards post-quantum cryptography since data is getting harvested today for future decryption.
None of the candidate encryption algorithms to counter the threat of quantum computing are intended for the massive amounts of sensitive data stored “at rest”. Instead they are intended to replace those currently used for: (1) data in transit over the public internet; and (2) digital signatures used for authentication.
Concrete steps to address the threat quantum computing poses to current cryptographic standards have been taken by NIST, as it has selected four algorithms for future use.