An IBM, Vodafone and GSMA group to secure networks with quantum

on 03/10/2022, by Michael Cooney, IDG NS (adapted by Jean Elyan), Safety, 749 words

Call GSMA Post-Quantum Telco Network Taskforce, the post-quantum telecommunications network task force wants to contribute to the development of standards and the mitigation of security risks posed by quantum computing.

The goal of the working group formed by the Global System for Mobile Communications Association (GSMA), IBM and Vodaphone is to promote quantum-safe cryptography standards for telecommunications networks and, ultimately, enterprise cloud service environments. Called GSMA Post-Quantum Telco Network Taskforce, the group wants to define the criteria and a roadmap that will serve as the basis of quantum security standards for networks, and mitigate the security risks introduced by quantum computing. Telco networks are the basis of all business services, regardless of their sector of activity. It is therefore essential that these networks can meet the security challenges posed by quantum technology, explained Ray Harishankar, IBM Fellow, Vice President and Head of Quantum Safe Strategy at Big Blue. The group wants to think about a quantum security plan now, because the components and standards of this roadmap will not be developed overnight, he added.

The working group will focus primarily on the technologies it considers critical and the measures taken to protect the switches, network devices and endpoints connected to them, said Ray Harishankar. Then you have to move up the hierarchy to protect applications that run on the network, service provider platforms, and so on. , he added. According to the working group, other players should join these standardization efforts. The GSMA Post-Quantum Telco Network Taskforce also plans to work with organizations such as the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). And there is a lot to do. The World Economic Forum in Davos recently estimated that more than 20 billion digital devices will need to be upgraded or replaced over the next 10 to 20 years to make use of new forms of encrypted communication that can withstand the computing power of quantum technologies.

Steal data to decrypt it later

Even if the advent of this world of quantum networks and services is not for tomorrow, the most immediate concern of companies and telecommunications operators is to protect themselves against attack scenarios such as harvest now decrypt later which consists, for the attackers, of stealing encrypted data in real time in order to decrypt them later with a quantum computer. A malicious actor can collect data today and keep it until the day he can decipher it, Harishankar said. Companies need to ensure that their current data, which they typically retain for years, or may transmit today to a financial institution or the SEC, or exchange today, will not be compromised later, added the vice president and chief strategist of IBM’s Quantum Safe. Industry is currently seeking to develop quantum computing systems, services, security technologies and networks. For example, earlier this year, NIST selected four algorithms to create a Post-Quantum Cryptography (PQC) standard to protect against future attacks that exploit the power of quantum processors. IBM actively participated in the development of these algorithms.

As explainedAnne Dames, distinguished engineer in cryptographic technology at IBM in a technology blog, NIST’s algorithms will perform two of the main tasks typically performed in public key cryptography: public key encapsulation, used for public key encryption and key establishment, and digital signatures, used for authentication. identity and non-repudiation. Additionally, Amazon Web Services recently partnered with Harvard University to advance quantum networking research and development. The AWS Center for Quantum Networking and the Harvard Quantum Initiative plan to develop projects in quantum memory, integrated photonics, and quantum applications that could help support future quantum networks and the quantum internet. Tomorrow, the networking of quantum computers will give rise to new applications with clustered computers. In the short term, quantum security and privacy applications are highly relevant, AWS said.

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An IBM, Vodafone and GSMA group to secure networks with quantum

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