2021: A pivotal year for post-quantum cryptography

Author: Dr Ali El Kaafarani
Topic: Comment, Events, News

2020 was a year unlike any other. As the pandemic pushed societies into lockdown, hackers took advantage of the situation and cybersecurity jumped up the priority list for many organisations.  

Truth is, it sometimes takes a crisis for companies to acknowledge the true vulnerability of their systems – but that’s not what we want when it comes to the quantum threat. 

As we moved into 2021, the PQShield team doubled down on its efforts to educate more leaders about this massive, looming challenge to information security. 

From industrial manufacturing to technology and information security, we worked hard to explain the quantum threat in the context of different industries. We also published a series of white papers designed to outline the problem and available solutions in a straightforward and accessible way. For an academic field like post-quantum cryptography, that was probably a little overdue! 

Elsewhere, I spoke to The Telegraph about NIST’s post-quantum cryptography standardisation project, explaining where we now stand in the “race to keep secrets safe from the quantum computing revolution”. I also joined the BBC World Service’s Digital Planet as it introduced the issues to a wider audience.

As the new year kicked off, the team also continued to impress me with its contributions to industry-wide initiatives alongside its remarkable work for PQShield. 

While they missed the chance to meet industry peers and colleagues at events like Real World Crypto, the team showed up in force (virtually, of course), championing PQShield research alongside partners and collaborators such as RISC-V International and NIST.

As we welcome Dr Bas Westerbaan and Ben Marshall to the team, we look forward to what the rest of the year will bring. 

PQShield's Quantum Threat White Papers Series pqshield.com/quantum-threat/
The Slack - NIST: Inside the race to standardise post-quantum cryptography thestack.technology/nist-post-quantum-cryptography-standardisation-project/
The Telegraph - Inside the race to keep secrets safe from the quantum computing revolution www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2021/02/28/inside-race-keep-secrets-safe-quantum-computing-revolution/