The National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE) has released the final version of the NIST Cybersecurity White Paper, Getting Ready for Post-Quantum Cryptography: Exploring Challenges Associated with Adopting and Using Post-Quantum Cryptographic Algorithms.
Cryptographic technologies are used throughout government and industry to authenticate the source and protect the confidentiality and integrity of information that we communicate and store. From time to time, it is necessary to replace a cryptographic algorithm because of new weaknesses or threats. Progress in the development of quantum computing foreshadows a particularly disruptive cryptographic transition. Practical quantum computing will break the security of nearly all modern public-key cryptographic systems. New post-quantum cryptographic algorithms which are resistant to quantum computer-based attacks will need to be implemented, but introducing new algorithms requires updates to protocols, schemes, and infrastructures that could take decades to complete.
This paper introduces challenges associated with adopting and using post-quantum cryptography once new algorithms and new standards using them are ready. The paper also discusses the planning for migration to post-quantum cryptography, then concludes with NIST’s next steps for helping with the migration.
If you have questions or comments on the white paper, or you would like to join the NCCoE Community of Interest for this topic, email us at applied-crypto-pqc [at] nist.gov. More information is also available on the NCCoE’s Crypto Agility web page.