Preparing for post-quantum cryptography is essential to ensure the security of digital communications and data ahead of when quantum computers can potentially break current today’s cryptographic algorithms. Here are six steps to help you to start preparing for post-quantum cryptography:
- Assessment and Awareness: Start by assessing your organization’s current cryptographic infrastructure and understanding the potential risks posed by quantum computing. Use the assessment to build an inventory of cryptographic assets to raise awareness among key stakeholders about the importance of post-quantum cryptography and potential impact on your security posture.
- Stay Informed: Keep up-to-date with the latest developments in post-quantum cryptography. The field is rapidly evolving, and new algorithms and techniques are continually being researched and progressing through standardization efforts. Participate in relevant conferences, read research papers, and engage with the cryptographic community to stay informed.
- Identify Critical Systems and Data: Identify the critical systems and data that may be at risk from quantum attacks. This includes assessing the cryptographic protocols used to protect sensitive information, such as SSL/TLS for securing web applications and providing encryption. Determine which systems and data need to be prioritized and protected using post-quantum cryptography.
- Implement Transition Plans: Develop a transition plan for upgrading your cryptographic infrastructure to post-quantum algorithms. This may involve replacing or updating existing encryption methods with quantum resistant algorithms. Be prepared to update hardware and software systems, as well as Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) protocols and policies, to accommodate these new cryptographic algorithms.
- Engage with Standards Bodies: Participate in standards development organizations (SDOs) and consortia that are working on standardizing post-quantum cryptographic algorithms. For example, NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) is leading efforts in this area. By engaging with SDOs, you can help shape the standards and ensure interoperability with other organizations.
- Implement Crypto-Agility: The ability to quickly switch between cryptographic algorithms will be essential to ensure a rapid response against cryptographic threats. Choosing an enterprise certificate lifecycle management automation solution to provide visibility and control can provide a path to crypto-agility today.
Here are some additional things to consider:
- Quantum-Safe Certificate and Key Management: Explore quantum-safe certificate and key management solutions to protect these cryptographic assets from quantum attacks. This may involve using quantum-resistant key exchange algorithms and implementing robust certificate and key management practices.
- Education and Training: Invest in educating your IT and security teams about post-quantum cryptography. Ensure that your staff is well-versed in the principles and best practices associated with quantum-resistant cryptographic algorithms.
- Testing and Validation: Conduct thorough testing and validation of any new cryptographic solutions before implementing them in production. Ensure that they provide the expected level of security, do not introduce vulnerabilities, and do not break existing processes.
- Budget and Resource Allocation: Start allocating the necessary budget and resources to support the transition to post-quantum cryptography. This may include funding for research, development, and infrastructure upgrades. Do not let this slip to the last minute when it is harder to request emergency funding.
Preparing for post-quantum cryptography is a long-term effort, and it’s essential to start early to ensure the security of your organization is properly protected from the impending threats quantum computing will expose with today’s encryption algorithms.
To start your post-quantum cryptography assessment process and begin your path to crypto-agility, AppViewX can help. Talk to us today to set up a demo and learn how to jumpstart your post-quantum cryptography readiness.
Download the AppViewX whitepaper: Crypto-Agility and Preparing for Post-Quantum Cryptography to learn more.