Encryption & Key Management , Security Operations

Quantum-Proof Cryptography: How It Would Work

Expert Describes Efforts to Develop a Next-Generation Approach
Quantum-Proof Cryptography: How It Would Work
Divesh Aggarwal, principal investigator at Singapore's Center for Quantum Technologies

Researchers are attempting to develop new forms of cryptography that could not be cracked by powerful quantum computing devices that are in the works. That requires devising public key cryptosystems based on computational problems that are difficult to break even using quantum algorithms, says Divesh Aggarwal, principal investigator at Singapore's Center for Quantum Technologies (see: Quantum Computing: Sizing Up the Risks to Security)

"The essential idea is you have to come out with a computational problem that you can base public key cryptosystems on and for which we don't know how to solve these problems using quantum algorithms," Aggarwal says in an interview with Information Security Media Group. Today's most widely used cryptosystem - RSA - is based on the problem of factoring integers, and this could be easily solved or broken by quantum computers once they're developed, he says (see: Quantum-Proof Cryptography: What Role Will It Play?).

The National Institute of Standards and Technology in the U.S. is working on standardized quantum proof cryptographic keys, he notes. "Around 26 proposals have been shortlisted, and these proposals are currently in the process of further scrutiny. And the hope is to have about three or four proposals in about three to four years and try to standardize these so they can be used in practice."

In this interview (see audio link below image), Aggarwal discusses:

  • The different approaches to quantum-proof cryptography;
  • Why asymmetric keys can pose more problems for CISOs;
  • The need for standards.

Aggarwal is principal investigator at Singapore's Center for Quantum Technologies. He received a Ph.D. in computer science from ETH Zurich in 2012. From 2012 to 2016, he was a postdoctoral researcher at New York University and at EPFL. Since 2016, he has been an assistant professor in the department of computer science at the National University of Singapore.

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