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Post Quantum Computing Survey Results – Are You Prepared?

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Quantum Computing (QC) is on the horizon of becoming mainstream. Once it does, the cryptography methods we rely on to secure our systems, networks, and data will be compromised. To understand the preparedness of enterprises, DigiCert, a leading provider of TLS/SSL and digital certificates, commissioned a survey by ReRez Research in 2019. The survey interviewed IT professionals from 400 companies in the US, Germany, and Japan. Let’s delve into the key findings from the 2019 Post Quantum Crypto Survey report.

The Significance of Quantum Computing

The Real Threat

Current cryptographic algorithms are designed to be secure against classical computing attacks. However, quantum computing can easily crack these algorithms. This is why post-quantum cryptography is crucial. The industry needs to embrace new cryptographic algorithms that are resilient against both quantum and classical computers. While quantum computers are not yet available, the existing cryptographic algorithms are vulnerable, especially for sensitive data transactions.

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The Timeline for Preparedness

Quantum computing may appear distant, but IT professionals have a sense of urgency. According to the PQC Survey, 74% of the interviewed professionals expect quantum computing and the need for post-quantum cryptography within the next five years. Almost 40% believe that existing cryptographic algorithms will be vulnerable to quantum computing by the end of 2021. This means companies have a tight timeframe of 2-3 years to prepare, remediate, and upgrade their encryption systems before the quantum computing threat becomes a reality.

Survey Results

Enterprises Taking Action

While previous security risks have been met with delayed responses, companies are now taking quantum computing risks seriously. The PQC Survey reveals that nearly a third of surveyed companies already have a budget dedicated to quantum computing initiatives and are actively working on remediation. Another 56% are in the process of establishing a budget. This proactive stance highlights the understanding within companies of the challenge and the need to act swiftly.

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Corporations taking action

Mitigation Strategies

Enterprises are planning various mitigation strategies within their organizations. Monitoring is the most common tactic employed to gain a better understanding of risks and exposure. Companies are also focusing on preemptive actions by assessing crypto-agility (the ability to upgrade encryption systems when vulnerabilities are discovered) and evaluating the likelihood and impact of risks. Additionally, data building and the development of best practices are key strategies adopted by enterprises who have already implemented monitoring and assessment capabilities.

The Importance of Crypto-Agility

As companies plan for the quantum computing threat, it is crucial to decouple the lifecycle of cryptography capabilities from the underlying products. This ensures that products and deployed systems can operate for a long time while delivering value to the organization and its customers. Crypto-agility allows cryptographic protocols to adapt and be updated in response to new threats and mitigation methods, providing stability to the business.

Key Takeaways for Enterprises

To face the challenges brought by quantum computing, enterprises must:

  1. Act now: Take the first steps towards post-quantum cryptography immediately as it takes time to complete the remediation and mitigation process.
  2. Develop agility: Plan for a rapidly changing cryptography environment, preparing systems to adapt to emerging threats.
  3. Assess exposure and preparedness: Understand the vulnerabilities of systems using cryptography and evaluate the ability to respond to new risks.
  4. Engage vendors: Coordinate remediation plans with vendors of third-party components or systems using third-party cryptography.
  5. Prioritize crypto-agility: Make crypto-agility a factor in vendor evaluation for future procurement.
  6. Improve awareness and maturity: Develop best practices to enhance understanding and maturity in cryptography capabilities.
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DigiCert, the industry leader in cryptography solutions, supports enterprises in preparing for the quantum computing challenge. They offer a PQC toolkit to assist in evaluating different technologies and their compatibility with existing infrastructure.

To stay updated and ensure the security of your business, it is essential to take action and address the quantum computing risk today.

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