Sophia Antipolis, 24 May 2024

Speakers at the 10th ETSI/IQC Quantum Safe Cryptography Conference have called on organizations to prepare their cybersecurity infrastructures to address the challenges of a post-quantum world.

Organized by ETSI and the Institute for Quantum Computing, this year’s conference was hosted from 14-16 May by the Centre for Quantum Technologies (CQT), National University of Singapore (NUS), in partnership with the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and the Cyber Security Agency (CSA) of Singapore. The event attracted an impressive 235 onsite delegates from 27 countries, reflecting fast-growing interest worldwide in the critical importance of quantum-safe cryptography in today’s cybersecurity strategies.

Addressing business, industry, government and research communities with a stake in cryptographic standardization, the three-day event provided a platform for knowledge exchange and collaboration as organizations transition their cyber infrastructures and business practices to ensure security in the imminent quantum era.

The executive track on the conference’s opening day (14 May) outlined the current state of quantum threats and quantum risk management. Delegates were welcomed by Chuen Hong Lew, Chief Executive of the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) of Singapore, who stressed the importance of harnessing the opportunities of quantum computing for the greater good, while ensuring that the digital infrastructure remains secure and quantum-safe. Other keynote speeches by Artur Ekert, Professorial Fellow in Quantum Physics and Cryptography at the University of Oxford and the National University of Singapore, and Michele Mosca, co-founder and Professor of the Institute for Quantum Computing at the University of Waterloo and Programme Committee Chair for the conference, explored how quantum computers are poised to disrupt the current technology landscape. Panel discussions – including a dedicated session on the financial sector’s specific requirements – explored approaches being taken by businesses and governments to manage the quantum risk to information assets, cyber systems and business continuity, now and in the future.

The conference’s technical track (15-16 May) provided a deep dive into cryptographic technologies being developed through various initiatives worldwide to ensure security of networks and connected devices in a post-quantum era. Sessions focused on topics including current standardization initiatives and worldwide practical deployments of both post-quantum cryptography and quantum key distribution, as well as migration strategies to quantum-secure ecosystems.

The need for standardization in a post-quantum world

Advances in quantum computing present a major challenge to the security of many ubiquitous cryptographic algorithms. Preparation for a transition to quantum secure technologies is increasing, with a corresponding acceleration in efforts to standardize tools to mitigate quantum threats. With availability of the first quantum-safe cryptographic standards for general use anticipated in summer 2024, working groups at ETSI are actively exploring how they will fit into existing protocols, applications and public-key infrastructures.

“In recent years we have seen significant progress in solving the challenges of building real quantum computers” comments ETSI Director-General Luis Jorge Romero who welcomed delegates to the first day of the conference. “When ETSI held the first QSC conference in 2013, there were no standards available for quantum-safe cryptography. Standardization provides a powerful platform to consolidate fragmented global research efforts in the development of quantum-safe algorithms and associated business practices that will protect the Internet and everyone who relies on it.”

“Quantum computers are poised to disrupt the technology landscape” states Michele Mosca, co-founder of the Institute for Quantum Computing at the University of Waterloo. “Building on ten years of continuous dialogue at a global level, this week’s conference highlights the necessity for business leaders worldwide to prepare for the quantum era by focusing on ‘resilience by design’ of their critical cyber systems, and the integrity and confidentiality of information assets.”

"The 10th ETSI/IQC Quantum Safe Cryptography Conference has highlighted the need for global coordination and sharing on best practices as the world begins an unprecedented overhaul of the crypto foundations of our communication systems.”, indicates Alexander Ling, CQT Principal Investigator, NUS. “Hosting this year's conference in Singapore has brought the world's leading experts on the matter to our region, and I'm really happy to see all the conversations that are starting new connections and partnerships."

Conference presentations can be accessed here.

A free webinar focusing on the key outcomes of the Conference is being held on June 17, 2024. See the ETSI Webinars page for more information.

About ETSI
ETSI provides members with an open and inclusive environment to support the timely development, ratification and testing of globally applicable standards for ICT‑enabled systems, applications and services across all sectors of industry and society. We are a not-for-profit body with almost 900 member organizations worldwide, drawn from 64 countries and five continents. Members comprise a diversified pool of large and small private companies, research entities, academia, government and public organizations. ETSI is one of only three bodies officially recognized by the EU as a European Standards Organization (ESO).

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