A huge variety of data and cybersecurity standards exist, ranging from national-level standards from the US NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) to international standards from the ISO (International Organization for Standardization). Standardization plays a huge role in cybersecurity because it adds consistency and clarity to the field.
Just like we have standards for classical cryptography, we’ll soon have security standards for quantum cryptography. Below, we’ll explain why quantum cryptography standardization matters and what you should expect from it.
How Standardization Can Help Quantum Cryptography
A fair number of quantum-safe data protection platforms have already entered the market. It seems that we can already protect ourselves from quantum threats, so why should we even care about quantum security standards?
The answer lies in the benefits that standardization offers. Among many other things, data security standards help us improve our protection measures as follows:
- Standardized practices and encryption algorithms are rigorously tested, and their weaknesses and strengths are well documented.
- Standards outline cybersecurity best practices and requirements that qualitatively improve data security measures.
- Standards offer consistent cybersecurity terminology, minimizing confusion, ensuring interoperability between standards from different regulatory bodies, and saving time in developing new standards.
- Standards reduce technical variations between data protection products, allowing you to easily switch from one solution or provider to another and compare products easily.
Post-Quantum Cryptography is Yet to Be Standardized…
Classical cryptographic algorithms like AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) are well understood and defined. We know their strengths and limitations, and we especially know one thing – they will cease being sufficiently strong once large-scale quantum computers become widespread.
Quantum-ready protection measures are the answer to the threat of quantum computers. And like with classical cryptographic methods, standardization can help cybersecurity providers develop comparable, consistent, and well-understood data security solutions.
Media and cybersecurity specialists widely anticipated NIST to release draft standards for post-quantum cryptography in December of 2021 or January of 2022. It’s already March of 2022, but the draft standards are yet to be released. The NIST timeline indicates the broad “2022/2024” as the release date for draft standards, so it’s unclear when we’ll see concrete developments. Originally, early 2022 was intended to be the release date for draft standards, while 2024 was set to be the year for final standards.
… But You Can Start Reaping the Benefits of Quantum-Safe Protection Today
Although the standardization process has been delayed, it doesn’t mean you can’t start using post-quantum cryptographic algorithms right now. Companies like Quantropi have remained on top of the developments in quantum cryptography and already offer quantum-safe solutions for enterprise infrastructure.
As quantum-safe measures are standardized, we’ll be able to adapt our offerings to fully conform to the formal requirements defined by government and international standardization bodies. But you don’t have to wait for quantum cryptography to get standardized – you can greatly benefit from the technology today.