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You Can’t Rush Post-Quantum-Computing Cryptography Standards

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The article discusses the delay in finalizing post-quantum-computing cryptography standards by NIST. The author highlights the concern that despite the significant advancements in quantum technology and understanding, there are only four algorithms in place after seven years of the process. The recent announcement by NIST about considering other candidates indicates that the process will take several more years. This delay is troubling because it will further prolong the time required for vendors to develop products implementing the standards.

The author emphasizes the importance of not rushing the process of developing quantum-resistant algorithms. They refer to a previous article where the complexity of public-key algorithms is discussed. Unlike symmetric algorithms, public-key algorithms rely on mathematics for security, making them more vulnerable to advances in mathematics. The article suggests that the lack of well-studied mathematical problems in disciplines like code-based cryptography and lattice-based cryptography contributes to the vulnerability of these algorithms. Therefore, rushing the development of standards without thoroughly understanding these mathematical disciplines can lead to compromised security.

In terms of getting new encryption products to the market, the article suggests the need for cryptographic agility. It is not enough to implement a single standard; systems should be able to easily incorporate new algorithms when required. This flexibility ensures that the encryption remains robust in the face of new advancements and vulnerabilities.

In conclusion, the article highlights the need for caution and thoroughness in developing post-quantum-computing cryptography standards. Rushing the process can compromise the security of these algorithms, given their reliance on complex and less well-understood mathematical problems. The article also emphasizes the importance of cryptographic agility to adapt to new advancements and vulnerabilities. Overall, the development of these standards requires time, research, and a comprehensive understanding of the underlying mathematical disciplines.

Key points:
– NIST is taking a long time to finalize post-quantum-computing cryptography standards.
– Despite advancements in quantum technology, there are only four algorithms after seven years.
– Rushing the process can compromise the security of these algorithms.
– Cryptographic agility is essential to easily incorporate new algorithms when required.
– Thorough research and understanding of mathematical disciplines are necessary for robust standards.

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