What Is Post Quantum Cryptography? Types & Uses

In the age of quantum computing, methods for information protection include post-quantum cryptography, quantum encryption, and quantum cryptography. Quantum cryptography employs photons of light to convey data using quantum key distribution and quantum physics to detect eavesdropping on communications. 

To defend against quantum computer assaults, post-quantum cryptography aims to modernize current mathematically based techniques and standards. Organizations need to implement future-oriented information safety solutions based on quantum physics rules. And prepare for the eventual development and deployment of quantum computers.

What Is Post-Quantum Cryptography?

Post-quantum cryptography (PQC) is a novel cryptographic paradigm to fend off assaults from current and future quantum computers.

PQC systems were created after mathematician Peter Shor’s demonstration in the 1990s. He showed how a hypothetical quantum computer could readily crack the public key encryption technique. Post-quantum cryptography provides intact cryptographic security by using mathematical problems that are resistant to quantum algorithms.

Classical computer take years to complete a calculation, which a quantum computer can do in few hours. Scientists thought that quantum computers might outperform traditional computers at difficult computations more quickly in the 1980s. Quantum encryption, or PQC, is the creation of cryptographic methods.  

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Post-Quantum Cryptography – Comprehensive Overview

Creating new cryptographic algorithms that are resistant to assaults from both conventional and quantum computers is the goal of PQC. New cryptography must integrate with existing internet protocols. It must consider factors- duration of encryption and decryption, encryption keys, signature size, and traffic sent over the wire. 

Cryptography analysis is crucial to identify potential weaknesses for adversaries. The development of quantum-resistant cryptosystems must be openly discussed with cryptographers, the public, and governments worldwide for approval and support. The task of replacing classic cryptography is challenging and time-consuming. The possibility of a quantum computer storing encrypted data makes it urgent and essential. 

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Post-Quantum Cryptographic Algorithm Types

Post-quantum cryptography techniques are also referred to as quantum-safe or quantum-resistant algorithms. A few primary categories of post-quantum cryptography algorithms are as follows:

1. Hash-Based Cryptography

This digital signature system uses cryptographic hash functions to provide security. Those functions are used to create a one-time signature. Using a secret key to hash the message, a digest is created. A one-way function is then applied to it to produce the signature.

2. Code-Based Cryptography

Error-correcting codes serve as their base. It provides security assurances for cryptographic protocols by leveraging the difficulty of decoding certain codes. 

3. The Elliptic Curve Supersingular

A post-quantum cryptographic technique called Isogeny Cryptography is based on the mathematics of elliptic curves and isogenies. It offers a means of establishing safe key exchange procedures that are impervious to quantum computer assaults. 

4. Multivariate Cryptography

The complex solving systems of multivariate polynomial equations serve as the foundation for this public key cryptography. The base of its security comprises algebraic equations. A series of multivariate polynomial equations provides the basis for the public key. The private key is the methodical solution to these equations. 

5. Symmetric Key Quantum Resistance

Management systems and protocols based on symmetric key cryptography are naturally resistant to assaults by quantum computers. Some researchers recommend it as a practical means of attaining post-quantum cryptography in the present day. A feasible way to guarantee secure communications without being subject to quantum violations.

6. Lattice-Based Encryption

This kind of encryption depends on how challenging certain lattice-related mathematical problems are. It uses the computational difficulties of solving particular lattice problems to ensure cryptographic methods’ security. The resilience of lattice-based encryption against quantum assaults is its main selling point. 

How Do You Prepare For Post-Quantum Cryptography?

System security as a whole is still the primary concern in both the PQC era and classical computing. Years may pass before PQC is fully implemented, providing firms with additional time to assess their PQC preparation. In the post-quantum era, trust is crucial, and safe ways to instill confidence in a system will only grow in significance. 

The threat posed by quantum computers pushed the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to standardize post-quantum cryptography. They released the National Security Memorandum (NSM-10) in 2022. 

PQC Transition Explained

There are diverse concerns surrounding quantum computing. However, scientists agree that the adoption of post-quantum cryptography (PQC) techniques is both urgent and necessary. Below are a few crucial steps to follow for a seamless PQC transition:

  1. Make a list of all the sensitive information and cryptographic systems that are now in danger. While doing so, primarily focus on ones that use public keys like key exchange and digital signatures. 
  2. Think about how significant the asset or data is to the company. Also, explore how exposed or shielded the system is from other systems. 
  3. To learn about the most recent PQC revisions, check in with or become involved with the standards bodies. 
  4. Make a schedule or plan for switching to PQC.
  5. Before making the full transition, maintain your crypto-agileness. Undertake a partial migration to PQC using hybrid techniques that work with both the new and traditional standards.
  6. Notify, inform, and arrange for training sessions for PQC personnel.

It is crucial to remember that, in both the PQC era and classical computing, overall system security continues to be the primary concern.

As quantum computing technology is advancing, post-quantum encryption is gaining more relevance. It ensures the protection of private information and communications. Governments, financial institutions, and other organizations are actively researching and investing in post-quantum cryptography solutions.

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