Toward a Quantum-Safe Communication Infrastructure


Steinwandt, R.,
Xuereb, A.

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The accelerating pace at which quantum computing is developing makes it almost inevitable that some of the major cryptographic algorithms and protocols we rely on daily, for everything from internet shopping to running our critical infrastructure, may be compromised in the coming years.

This book presents 11 papers from the NATO Advanced Research Workshop (ARW) on Quantum and Post-Quantum Cryptography, hosted in Malta in November 2021. The workshop set out to understand and reconcile two seemingly divergent points of view on post-quantum cryptography and secure communication: would it be better to deploy post-quantum cryptographic (PQC) algorithms or quantum key distribution (QKD)? The workshop brought these two communities together to work towards a future in which the two technologies are seen as complementary solutions to secure communication systems at both a hardware (QKD) and software (PQC) level, rather than being in competition with each other. Subjects include the education of an adequate workforce and the challenges of adjusting university curricula for the quantum age; whether PQC and QKD are both required to enable a quantum-safe future and the case for hybrid approaches; and technical aspects of implementing quantum-secure communication systems. The efforts of two NATO nations to address the possible emergence of cryptanalytically-relevant quantum computers are explored, as are two cryptographic applications which go beyond the basic goal of securing two-party communication in a post-quantum world. 

The book includes economic and broader societal perspectives as well as the strictly technical, and adds a helpful, new contribution to this conversation. 

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