The NATO Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has been experimenting with post-quantum encryption to ensure secure communications flows are protected against attacks that use quantum computing.
NATO has been taking measures to confront potential security threats for communications in the quantum era. As quantum technology develops, many believe that quantum computers may become capable of breaking encryption methods commonly used today.
Should this threat become a reality, communication flows with sensitive information may be at risk of interception from unauthorised individuals conducting attacks through quantum computing. NATO’s intention with conducting these encryption experiments is to develop post-quantum solutions that are capable of withstanding this type of security attack.
“Securing NATO’s communications for the quantum era is paramount to our ability to operate effectively without fear of interception,” explains Konrad Wrona, Principal Scientist, NATO Cyber Security Centre.
NCSC has been running tests using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) provided by Post-Quantum, a UK-based deep tech company with over ten years of research and development in quantum-safe solutions. VPNs are commonly used to create encrypted connections that hide users’ IP and physical location, enabling them to protect their online identity and conduct internet activities securely. NCSC uses the VPN in their tests to help them develop secure communication flows accessible only among authorised users.
Post-Quantum’s ‘Hybrid Post-Quantum VPN’ uses post-quantum algorithms as well as standard encryption algorithms to secure private communications and protect data against attackers using quantum computing. Its method of utilising well-known traditional encryption algorithms alongside newer post-quantum algorithms is hoped to result in a VPN capable of integrating this technology to ensure security in the quantum era.
“This project with NATO is an important milestone in the world’s migration to a quantum-safe ecosystem. Organisations would be wise to take action now,” says Andersen Cheng, CEO, Post-Quantum.
NCSC, which is run by the NATO Communications and Information Agency (NCI Agency), protects NATO networks. Financial support for this project was provided by Allied Command Transformation’s VISTA (Versatile Innovation through Science & Technology Applications), which aims to use the information gathered by the NATO enterprise, Nations, academia, and industry for accelerated warfare development.
Post-Quantum was founded in 2009. The tech company provides solutions for quantum-safe encryption, blockchain and digital identity.