Quantum-safe Security Working Group

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Introduction to the Quantum-safe Security Working Group

Modern encryption methods are composed of two parts: an algorithm that encrypts or decrypts our data with a random, secret key, and a method of sharing the secret key between the parties. The encryption algorithm (AES‐256) appears safe, at least for the next 20 to 30 years, based on our current knowledge of cryptographic attacks. But the methods for generating and sharing the random, secret key will no longer be safe once quantum computers are readily available. Moreover, recent revelations have shown that these same methods have been seriously weakened by flaws placed intentionally or unintentionally into the computer algorithms by the designers. Data that has been transmitted over a network using these technologies is probably secure for now, but will not remain secure for the long term.

The Quantum‐safe Security (QSS) Working Group has been formed to address key generation and transmission methods and to help the industry understand quantum‐safe methods for protecting their networks and their data. Two differing technologies are covered by this working group, namely:

  1. Quantum key distribution, or QKD, which is a physics‐based technology to securely deliver keys, and
  2. Post‐quantum cryptography, which refers to mathematical algorithms that do not suffer from the same weakness vis‐à‐vis quantum computing that existing algorithms do.

Both technologies have a place in the secure networks of the future. The working group is focused on long-term data protection in this world of rising cryptanalysis capabilities. The goal of the working group is to support the quantum‐safe cryptography community in development and deployment of a framework to protect data whether in movement or at rest.

Working Group Scope and Responsibilities

The focus of the Quantum‐Safe Security Working Group is on cryptographic methods that will remain safe after the widespread availability of the quantum computer. This working group will be a forum for corporations, organizations, and individuals who are interested in the topic of quantum‐safe security. The goal in forming this working group is to spark discussions on projects and issues regarding securing communications for which current encryption methods will not be safe any more when, in the near future, quantum computers are available.

Quantum-safe Security Working Group Leadership

Quantum-safe Security Co-chairs

Bruno Huttner

Bruno Huttner

Bruno Huttner is the chairman of the Quantum-Safe Security Working Group (QSS WG) organized by the Cloud Security Alliance. The QSS WG has been formed to address key generation and transmission methods and to help the industry understand quantum‐safe methods for protecting their networks and their data.
Bruno is an engineer (Ecole Centrale Paris) and a physicist (PhD from the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology). During an international academic career spanning the UK, Japan and Switzerland, he studied quantum effects in optical fibers, quantum cryptography and telecommunication. He then moved to the business world, as a founder and manager of a start-up, Luciol Instruments in 2000, active in test&measurements of optical fibers. In 2002, Luciol was acquired by Sunrise Telecom, an American test&measurement company. Bruno became General Manager of the division, which was subsequently divested in 2008. Bruno led a management buyout, which restarted Luciol in 2009, and refocused the company towards the aviation market.

Bruno joined ID Quantique in 2014, participating in business development and product management in the Quantum Security division, which develops next-generation encryption, and especially quantum key distribution systems. These systems are designed to be safe against the power of quantum computers, which threaten the conventional encryption methods.

During his career, both in academia and in business, Bruno participated and gave lectures in many international conferences. He was also active in standardisation organisations, first in ITU-T on polarisation effects in optical fibers, then in SAE, ARINC and ASD/STAN for applications of optical fibers in aviation, prior to his role as chairman of the QSS WG in CSA.

Jane Melia

Jane Melia

Jane Melia is the Vice President Strategic Business Development at QuintessenceLabs. She leads market and product strategy, and marketing communication. Prior to joining QuintessenceLabs, Jane has held leadership roles in several Silicon Valley startups, including SolFocus, where she headed the Technical and Product Marketing team for five years. Jane’s 20 years’ experience in technology industries also includes a number of roles at HP. Jane holds a degree in Engineering from Imperial College, London, and Ph.D. in Fluid Mechanics from Cambridge University.

Quantum-safe Security Working Group Initiatives

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Quantum-safe Security Working Group News

September 27, 2016

Open Peer Review – Quantum-Safe Security Glossary

The Cloud Security Alliance would like to invite you to review and comment on the Quantum-Safe Security working group’s latest document, Quantum-Safe Security Glossary. This document is the latest in a series of documents from the working group introducing quantum computing. This document is intended to help the industry understand quantum‐safe methods for protecting their…

September 27, 2016

Open Peer Review – Applied Quantum-Safe Security: Quantum Resistant Algorithms and Quantum Key Distribution position paper

The Cloud Security Alliance would like to invite you to review and comment on the Quantum-Safe Security working group’s latest document, Applied Quantum-Safe Security: Quantum Resistant Algorithms and Quantum Key Distribution. This document is the latest in a series of documents from the working group introducing quantum computing. This document focuses on the potential for…

October 06, 2015

What Is Post-Quantum Cryptography?

Post-quantum cryptography refers to the different classes of new cryptographic algorithms that are currently believed to resist quantum computer attacks. The most pressing issue today is these cryptographic algorithms need to be proactively in place several years before quantum computers are available. That’s why it is necessary to start integrating post-quantum algorithms in cryptographic protocols…

August 11, 2015

What is Quantum Key Distribution?

“What is Quantum Key Distribution” addresses the issues around sharing and securing encryption keys in a quantum world. The position paper provides an overview of key distribution in general, examines some of current approaches and existing challenges of key distribution, and provides a brief overview of how Quantum Key Distribution works in the real world….

May 28, 2015

What is Quantum-Safe Security?

The Quantum-Safe Security working group released a position paper titled ‘What is Quantum-Safe Security?’ The document examines the need for a proactive defense against a multi-purpose quantum computer. Read blog post

October 24, 2014

CSA Seeks Input on Open Peer Review: CSA Quantum-Safe Security Working Group Charter

The focus of the Quantum‐Safe Security working group is on cryptographic methods that will remain safe after the widespread availability of the quantum computer.

Quantum-safe Security Working Group Downloads

Applied Quantum Safe Security

Applied Quantum Safe Security

Release Date: February 15, 2017

Quantum Safe Security Glossary

Quantum Safe Security Glossary

Release Date: January 24, 2017

Quantum Random Number Generators

Quantum Random Number Generators

A random number is generated by a process whose outcome is unpredictable, and which cannot be reliably reproduced. Randomness, quantitatively measured by entropy, is the measure of uncertainty or disorder within a set of data. The higher the level of unpredictability, the more random the data is and the more valuable it becomes, particularly for…

Release Date: June 09, 2016

What is Post-Quantum Cryptography

What is Post-Quantum Cryptography

Release Date: September 28, 2015

What is Quantum Key Distribution?

What is Quantum Key Distribution?

The security of QKD relies on fundamental laws of nature, which are invulnerable to increasing computational power, new attack algorithms or quantum computers. It is secure against the most arbitrarily powerful eavesdroppers.

Release Date: August 05, 2015

What is Quantum Safe Security

What is Quantum Safe Security

Release Date: May 19, 2015

Quantum-Safe Security Working Group Charter

Quantum-Safe Security Working Group Charter

Charter outlining the purpose and operations of the Quantum-Safe Security Working Group.

Release Date: December 12, 2014