IBM Quantum Computing news: Preparing Cybersecurity for a Quantum World
Asymmetrically encrypted data may become insecure within the near future.
Advances in quantum computing could leave archived data susceptible to attack in the next 10 to 30 years.
It’s therefore essential to begin implementing quantum computing-safe solutions now. Your clients will need sufficient time to migrate any new technology before their data becomes vulnerable.
IBM researchers have developed two quantum-resistant algorithms based on Lattice Cryptography: Kyber, a secure key encapsulation mechanism, and Dilithium, a secure digital signature.
These two algorithms make up the CRYptographic Suite for Algebraic latticeS, or CRYSTALS.
IBM Quantum Computing: CRYSTALS and tapes
Magnetic tape’s cost-effectiveness over hard disk drives has led to a renaissance among tech giants handling exponential amounts of data.
Utilising their state-of-the-art IBM TS1160 tape drive, IBM have developed quantum computing-safe archiving through combining both Kyber and Dilithium with symmetric AES-256 encryption.
As well as being implemented as part of the tape drive’s firmware, the new algorithms could be provided to clients as an upgrade for existing archives.
You can read more about this world first in a number of recently published articles.
IBM, Mark Lantz and Mark Hill
Ten months ago we assembled a team from IBM Research in Switzerland and IBM tape developers based in Tucson, Arizona, to try to build something which has never been built before to address a risk that may not materialize for another decade or more. As you can tell, we love a good challenge.
The risk comes from quantum advantage, the point when a quantum computer can perform some particular computation significantly faster than a classical computer. The challenge we faced, develop a quantum computing safe tape drive, because at the current rate of progress in quantum computing, it is expected that data protected by the asymmetric encryption methods used today may become insecure.
Quantum computing is an emerging form of computing that takes advantage of quantum mechanical phenomena to solve certain types of problem that are effectively impossible to solve on classical computers. Quantum Advantage will occur when quantum computers surpass today’s classical computers at which point they are expected to enable dramatic advances in areas such as chemistry, bioinformatics and artificial intelligence, but at the same time they will impact information security.
State of the art storage technologies, such as magnetic tape drives, use a combination of symmetric and asymmetric encryption to ensure that the data they store remains secure.
Verdict, Robert Scammell
Technology giant IBM has unveiled a range of tools to help businesses be safe in the age of quantum computing, including the world’s first quantum-safe tape drive.
Quantum computers, which draw from quantum mechanics to carry out computations, are still some way off from being free of errors and commercially available. But when they do arrive their unique, turbo-charged computing powers are expected to crack today’s encryption standards, potentially leaving sensitive data exposed.
Despite experts predicting it’ll be between ten and 30 years before quantum computers are fully-fledged, there is the risk that encrypted data today could be stored to decrypt once quantum computers become powerful and reliable enough.
Cryptographers, including IBM researchers, have been developing new algorithms that can withstand quantum computers. These ‘quantum-safe’ algorithms have been made open-source and submitted to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) for review, with the aim of turning a small number into standards in 2020.
IBM’s algorithms, which are based on the lattice mathematical method, are one of the remaining contenders. It is this suite of quantum-safe algorithms, known as CRYSTALS, that has been incorporated into the quantum-safe tape drive, which was demonstrated at the second Post-Quantum Cryptography Standardization Conference in Santa Barbara, US.
Tech Xplore, Nancy Cohen
This week a collaborative effort among computer scientists and academics to safeguard data is winning attention and it has quantum computing written all over it.
The Netherlands’ Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI), national research institute for mathematics and computer science, had the story: IBM Research developed “quantum-safe algorithms” for securing data. They have done so by working with international partners including CWI and Radboud University in the Netherlands.
IBM and partners share concerns that data protected by current encryption methods may become insecure within the next 10 to 30 years.
What’s the concept? The algorithms are based on the hardness of mathematical problems that have not succumbed to any algorithmic attacks, either classical or quantum, according to CWI.
CWI said that “Although the industry is still finalizing post-quantum cryptography standards, businesses and other organizations already can start preparing today. IBM will begin to offer quantum-safe cryptography services on its public cloud in 2020.”
The algorithms are part of the CRYSTAL (CRYptographic Suite for Algebraic latticeS) suite.
Further to the algorithms announcement, it was revealed that IBM cryptographers have prototyped the world’s first quantum computing safe enterprise class tape, and this is seen as an important step before commercialization.
ZME Science, Tibi Puiu
Quantum computers may be decades away but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t prepare for their disruptive impact.
Someday, quantum computers should help scientists solve problems that are intractable using classical computers. But, this also means they’ll also be able to compute things we would typically like to remain unsolvable — such as encryption algorithms.
Already looking into the future, researchers at IBM Tape Development in Tucson and IBM Research Zurich have devised the first tape drive that can keep data secure against state-of-the-art quantum decryption techniques.
Floppy disks have long been obsolete, but when it comes to archiving data, there’s no better medium than tape.
While hard drives and SSDs are much more suited for accessing databases and reading small files, tape is ideal for storing large amounts of data over a long time. That’s because it’s incredibly cheap and dense. The current theoretical limit is about 29.5 billion bits per square inch, which would mean a magnetic tape the size of a traditional hard drive could store about 35 terabytes of information.
Another reason why tape is appealing for long-term storage is that it’s highly secure. Unlike disks, tape doesn’t need to be powered on to retain data, which means you can’t possibly access it remotely when it’s not in use. Tapes also use asymmetric encryption techniques, or public/private key encryption, to further boost security.
IBM Quantum Computing news: Establishing a Secure Quantum Age
IBM’s development of quantum computing-safe tape encryption technology reaffirms our long-term commitment to this critical area of modern storage.
It continues IBM’s legacy of leadership in security and encryption.
It also confirms our role as a trusted partner for businesses preparing for the opportunities presented by the advent of quantum computing.
Are you ready to help your clients take the lead in benefiting from this innovative technology?
You can explore all the latest quantum computing news here, while also accessing expertise and technology at the forefront of the quantum revolution.