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Cryptography leaders guide the future to new information security standards

Dieter Fishbein speaking in front of an audience
CryptoWorks21 student, Dieter Fishbein, presented his work at Sophia Antipolis. (Vadim Makarov)

Cryptography experts and decision makers met in France last week to set out a plan for a global quantum-safe cryptographic infrastructure.

On September 26-27, 2013, the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) hosted the Quantum-Safe-Crypto Workshop, which brought together cryptography experts, key players, and decision makers representing academic, government, and industry organizations from around the world. The workshop, sponsored by CryptoWorks21, Institute for Quantum Computing, Blackberry and TeleTrusT, was held at Sophia Antipolis, France. The goal of the Quantum-Safe-Crypto Workshop was to develop a strategy towards making quantum-safe technologies part of global standards to create a more secure global information and communication infrastructure.

With an eye to ensuring future information security, cryptographers are deeply concerned with developing a new encryption system that can outpace future threats posed by emerging quantum technologies before these threats arrive. Participants of the Quantum-Safe-Crypto Workshop worked together to set out next steps for moving forward with proposed solutions and to analyze the practical applications.

All sectors related to cryptographic standards were represented at the international workshop, including:

  • Standards organizations: ETSI from Europe, National Institute for Standards and Technology from USA, and National Institute of Information and Communications Technology from Japan;
  • Industry participants: Blackberry, Pitney Bowes, Toshiba, NTT, and others;
  • Quantum key distribution providers: ID Quantique, SecureNet;
  • Post-quantum system providers: Security Innovation; and
  • Research leaders from Canada, USA, Europe and Japan.

Faculty, researchers, collaborators, and a graduate student represented CryptoWorks21 at the Quantum-Safe-Crypto Workshop. "Attending the ETSI Quantum-Safe-Crypto Workshop was terrific," says Dieter Fishbein, CryptoWorks21 graduate student. "Not only did I gain experience in presenting my research to academics and industry professionals, but I had the chance to meet and connect with others working in my field. This was invaluable as the exchange of ideas among researchers is of the utmost importance in generating new ideas and solving important problems."

Organizers report that proceedings for the Quantum-Safe-Crypto Workshop will be published by January 2014. In addition, there are plans for a follow-up workshop next year.

ETSI is a recognized European Standards Organization focused on globally-applicable standards for technologies ranging from radio broadcast and mobile networks to internet technologies and cloud computing. It is a not-for-profit organization based in France with over 700 member organizations worldwide.

For images from the workshop, please see the Quantum-Safe-Crypto Workshop photos.