From NIST to RISC-V: PQShield continues its leading role in international cryptography standardisation efforts for software and hardware
PQShield announces appointment of Ben Marshall, editor and main author of the RISC-V “K’ Cryptography Extension, to bolster its hardware division
PQShield, the cybersecurity company specialising in post-quantum cryptography, today announces that it is further strengthening its cryptographic hardware team with the appointment of Ben Marshall, the editor and main author of the RISC-V “K” Cryptography Extension, as a Cryptography Engineer. Ben will continue to contribute to RISC-V International’s cryptography standardisation efforts while also working on PQShield’s post-quantum hardware architecture.
While quantum computers offer enormous potential benefits to society, they also pose a significant risk to information security, as they will be able to easily break the public-key encryption widely relied on to protect sensitive data. Because of this, engineers and scientists around the world are working to develop post-quantum cryptographic solutions, using a new generation of encryption that will help organisations secure their sensitive information now and for years to come.
Headquartered in Oxford, with additional teams in the Netherlands and France, PQShield is pioneering the development and commercial roll-out of advanced, quantum-ready cryptographic solutions for hardware, software and communications, helping businesses prepare for the quantum threat. With one of the UK’s highest concentrations of cryptography PhDs outside academia and the classified sector, the PQShield team is also a leading contributor to NIST’s post-quantum cryptography standardisation project, now in its concluding stages, having contributed two of the seven finalist algorithms.
For over a year, PQShield has been working with Ben and the RISC-V International Cryptographic Extensions Task Group (CETG) to provide solid, FIPS-compliant symmetric cryptography foundations for the RISC-V ISA, which helps to support PQShield’s post-quantum cryptography mission. CETG has adopted versions of the lightweight AES and entropy source interface (TRNG) originally designed by PQShield into the official extension.
Dr. Ali El Kaafarani, CEO and Founder of PQShield, said:
“Our partnership with RISC-V and leading role within CETG allows us to think, openly, with the rest of the RISC-V community and build the security layer of our future hardware together, taking a scrupulous end-to-end approach that doesn’t repeat our security community’s past pitfalls.
I am thrilled that PQShield continues to attract the best and brightest security and cryptography talents in software and hardware; we’re excited to welcome Ben Marshall, an exceptional cryptography hardware engineer, to our ever-growing family.”
The RISC-V “K” cryptographic extension specification is now considered stable, and has multiple independent hardware implementations and significant industry support. This is an essential preparatory step for FIPS 140-3 compliant post-quantum processors and coprocessors.
Mark Himelstein, CTO, RISC-V International, said:
“The security aspects of the RISC-V architecture are a top priority, and we are committed to providing the RISC-V ecosystem, developers and end-users with state-of-the-art hardware security instruction set architecture (ISA) features and assurances. Substantial contributions from cryptography experts and RISC-V International members, such as PQShield, play a key role in achieving our security goals.”
PQShield offers size and performance-optimized implementations of all NIST PQC Finalist algorithms, together with post-quantum coprocessor solutions for RISC-V-based platforms. Several leading device manufacturers have already chosen PQShield’s PQC IP for integration into hardware security solutions that will be compliant with upcoming German BSI and US NIST/FIPS post-quantum cryptography standards.