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Bob Gourley

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NSA Recommendations Include High Entropy and Longer Keys to Protect Against Quantum Computer Developments

Currently, the NSA’s Information Assurance Directorate (IAD) only uses approved Suite B cryptographic algorithms, specified by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), to protect classified and unclassified National Security Systems (NSS). The Suite B algorithms have served as a method to ensure the security of classified and unclassified information through public networks. Now, or in the not too distant future, IAD will commence a transition to quantum resistant algorithms.

Due to the experience of deploying Suite B, early communication and planning has begun for quantum resistant algorithms. The ultimate goal is to “provide cost effective security against a potential quantum computer” (NSA). Partners looking to mitigate risk in the meantime are advised to use larger key sizes in algorithms. In addition, IAD customers protecting long-life national security information should begin implementing a layer of quantum resistant protection now. This protection can be implemented today through the use of large, high entropy, symmetric keys and specific secure protocol standards.

Obtaining high entropy keys at high rates is harder than it sounds. Random number generators, with seemingly high maximum throughputs and entropy often in practice only deliver the high entropy levels at very low throughputs. This results in a real security trade-off and risk. QuintessenceLabs quantum approach to generating random numbers addresses this challenge, offering rates of 1Gbit/sec, at 100% entropy.

QuintessenceLabs’ qStream random number generator measures quantum noise at very high frequencies, enabling the delivery of full-entropy, high-speed random numbers at a low total cost. qStream works in enterprise, cloud and shared environments. Moving to true quantum protection strengthens security, protecting data now and in the future as threats increase. The challenge of obtaining high entropy keys at high rates is removed with QuintessenceLabs’ qStream solution. Users can significantly enhance security today by using Quintessence Labs’ fully random keys delivered at the highest rates.

Find out more information on qStream here.

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Bob Gourley writes on enterprise IT. He is a founder and partner at Cognitio Corp and publsher of CTOvision.com