Why organizations need to start planning their migration to quantum encryption now


Unbreakable encryption is vital for organizations concerned with securing their data and communications – and for those looking to maximize those efforts, quantum cryptography is the future. This is especially true considering that one day quantum computers could also be used by cybercriminals to crack older encryption methods, rendering them obsolete.

To that end, NIST earlier this year selected four “post-quantum” tools capable of creating encryption algorithms capable of defeating any attempt at hacking by a quantum computer. On the other side of the crypto equation, companies like Quantinuum have developed quantum-based methodologies to generate truly random and unpredictable cryptographic keys.

Duncan Jones, head of cybersecurity at Quantinuum, recently spoke with SC Media about the evolving science of quantum encryption, referencing several current use cases for quantum key generation, as well as a intriguing pilot test of secure communications involving the International Space Station.

According to Jones, quantum-based key generation (which Quantinuum offers through its own service called Quantum Origin) “resonates very well with financial services companies, with governments, with anyone… for whom security is a core feature of what they offer their end users.”

Moreover, “soon after, in maybe two years or so, the new [post-quantum algorithms] will be standardized by NIST,” Jones continued in a video interview filmed at CyberRisk Alliance’s InfoSec World 2022 conference in Orlando, Florida. “Organizations need to start planning for this migration, because it’s going to involve a tremendous amount of work. And the first step is simply understanding where you are today. What systems do you have, what data do you have that is sensitive, so you can prioritize your adoption of these technologies? »

Quantinuum was able to test the combination of quantum keys and algorithms together in a pilot test initiative conducted aboard the ISS, in coordination with Axiom Space, a private company that plans to build the first commercial space station. in the world. “They’re starting to think about…the…future of space communications, because they have to think in a very evolutionary way,” Jones of Axiom Space said. “Everything they put on the ground literally goes into space for 20, 30 years…So we worked with them to explore safe quantum communications from space to Earth.”

Indeed, by using Quantum Origin, Axiom during the test was able to send quantum encrypted message “Hello Quantum World” from the ISS to Earth.

For more details on quantum encryption and the work of Quantinuum, watch the video embedded below.


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