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Post Quantum Cryptology

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Quantum Computing

Quantum computing is a concept that combines computer science, physics, and mathematics with the use of quantum mechanics for the strongest form of computing so far. The topic that breakthroughs so many of our modern day technologies has its benefits but just as much it has disadvantages. Imagine a computer that doesn’t process on a binary of 0s and 1s, but works in both states at once. This advancement in computing speed makes our current technology look ancient, but at the same time it poses a danger. The security systems that protect our data may very well be easily cracked by these quantum speeds. Quantum computing will challenge our traditional ways of keeping information safe and bring us to rely on and necessitate the new concepts of Post Quantum Cryptography or PQC. The new era explores the balance between quantum computing’s amazingly new opportunities as well as the downside of securing our digital future against some of those same capabilities. How will we navigate this unknown territory? What do we need to know or do to ensure our sensitive information remains safe? This research answers some of those question, addressing this computing’s potential while safeguarding against its risks.

How Does Quantum Computing Work?

To understand the revolutionary impact, we need to cover how Quantum computing entails a groundbreaking shift from our usual computing approach from either 1 or 0 to now both. This is because of qubits, which, unlike the traditional binary bits, can take on multiple states all at the same time—this principle is called superposition. Additionally, qubits can also perform an action called entanglement, allowing pairs to turn opposite from one another regardless of the distance between them. Think of superposition as being like flipping a coin, but instead of landing on heads or tails, it lands on both. Entanglement on the other hand could be compared to two coins, where no matter where in the universe the pairs are, together or separate, if one is heads the other will instantly be the opposite. This unique combination opens the door to possibilities far beyond what we’ve known to this day. Ultimately, it has been argued, quantum computing’s challenge to our digital security standard will only strengthen our defense systems and advance many computational areas.


One notable challenge that doesn’t relate so much to security but more to the technology itself, is in managing the errors that qubits produce. Qubits are extremely sensitive to any environmental aspect, which can cause “decoherence”, a state where the system loses its quantum properties, and erases its current state. There are only error rates of around 1% for each qubit operation, which is quite high for practical use. There are still advancements to be made, and once completed will be revolutionary.

Post-Quantum Cryptography

When quantum computing is fully complete, and ready to be utilized by so many around the world including the unethical hackers, is when PQC will come into play. Cryptographic algorithms that are designed to be secure against attacks by quantum computers and their high computing powers. These algorithms typically rely on different mathematical problems that are believed to be hard even for quantum computers to solve. Some of those algorithms include lattice-based cryptography, code-based cryptography, multivariate cryptography, hash-based cryptography, and isogeny-based cryptography. All with their different upsides and downsides.

Our Current Encryptions

However once fully completed, the power of this technology poses significant risks to digital security such as bringing down the integrity of our current encryption methods. Encryption is one of the foundations of digital security, using algorithms such as RSA or ECC to protect our sensitive data. The types of encryptions that are in danger and so many use are Asymmetric Cryptography, Digital Signature Algorithms, and Cryptographic Hash Functions. Many algorithms rely on long and tedious mathematical puzzles such as integer factorization or elliptic curve discrete logarithms. Puzzles that no normal computer could compete against on regular binary. Thanks to qubits, however, processing these calculations at once is made possible with superposition, and entanglement can run algorithms like Shor’s to easily solve. The methods make it possible to crack these everyday encryptions. This is yet another reason for the urgency of crafting new, quantum resistant algorithms to secure our future.

Quantum computing’s speed and its ability to solve problems at speeds we’ve never even seen before, puts privacy in danger. It threatens to break down the walls we’ve built around our online information. The danger that follows this futuristic speed can be terrifying to any cybersecurity engineer. PQC represents the era of prevention against quantum computers, protecting our private data.

Who is Affected

Data included that of banking systems, medical records, government communications, and so many more rely on encryption as their sole defense system. Just imagine if those encryptions become useless with no back up, exposing personal data, intellectual property, and national secrets for anyone with the right computer to steal. Financial markets could be destroyed, everyone would lose their personal privacy, and so much more chaos around the world would break out. The ripple effects that would occur would extend beyond typical data breaches, but would absolutely destroy our everyday lives, economies brought to its knees, and endangering so many lives. The issue is not just a technological challenge but a huge societal future that cryptographic defenses are needed to fight against. This frightening reality is slowly getting closer, creating more of an urgency to place quantum resistant cryptography in our world. The core goal of PQC is to create encryption systems that can stand against the overwhelming power of future computing. The challenges that follow is more than just inventing new ways to encrypt data, but even involves aspects of the principles behind cryptography. Especially with how quickly quantum technology could unravel so many problems including those our security systems rely on.

Quantum Laws and Regulations

With all this advance change brings the need for updated legal and regulatory frameworks. The whole quantum computing and PQC contains so many complex challenges that our current legal systems might not be equipped to handle, from quantum usage, data security, and especially intellectual property rights. Quantum computing’s potential to decrypt the current encryption standards threatens our traditional digital security standards. Necessary laws and regulations will immediately be needed to protect our sensitive information. Once the issue is on a global scale, and becomes a required issue to deal with, such rules will need to be in place to prevent the chaos. Not only is it needed to guide the innovation but to ensure any ethical usage of the new technology. It’s important to navigate this unknown area with the right legal tools and rules to mitigate any challenges.

The New Policies

Even the global cryptography community has been working through the standardization of PQC. The National Institute of Standards and Technology or NIST, has even offered numerous proposals all across the world, to bring new cryptographic methods that protect digital communication. Shifting to PQC is not just about solving complex technical puzzles; it also relates to issues relating to ethics, policies, and societal questions. With many proposals involving governments, industries, academic institutions, and even more public organizations. This transition is not just about new technology but strategies surrounding it and the new policies, educating our society, and even the ethical aspect of these advancements. The PQC era represents security in the future. The re-evaluation of encryption entirely, that will replace all algorithms with even more complex ones to defend against the new computing. The need for lattice based cryptography and new hash functions is upon us. Even as mentioned earlier, organizations like NIST are in the process of standardizing new cryptographic practices.

Interdisciplinary challenges

Interdisciplinary challenges are another worry that will come with this entire conversion. This includes lits of cooperations between many experts in computer science, physics, and engineering to tackle the technical obstacles, and experts that can assist in navigating the ethical policies and social solutions. Together, both must work to reshape the quantum era.

Changes Already in Motion

Some companies have already put efforts towards integrating PQC into their existing systems. A good example is Mullvad VPN, which, as of July 2022, began experimenting with quantum resistant tunnels through their WireGuard servers (An open source VPN software). This initiative shows how easily companies can begin to safeguard against potential threats, like how they encrypted their traffic in the face of quantum decrypting. Mullvad has used the McEliece algorithm, notably an algorithm that was showcased in the NIST PQC competition, was used to protect against attackers in this defense system.


Advancing PQC will be an international effort, with global disciplinary challenges. A shared commitment to mitigate these threats. The emergence of quantum computing is such a large step in evolution for technology, with both massive advantages and just as large disadvantage threats. Though there are still road bumps in that technology, and there is some time before it has been completed, PQC is still essential to safeguard our digital data from the breaches quantum computing will inevitably be able to accomplish. However, PQC is more than just technological advances; it holds ethical considerations, the development of policies, and active engagement from so many whether personal usage or through companies. As we move forward, it’s important to understand and prepare for the era’s challenges.

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