Partnership To Develop 'Quantum-Safe' Security for IoT Announced

This week three companies -- DigiCert Inc., Isara Corp. and Gemalto -- announced they are forming a partnership to create "advanced, quantum-safe" secure key management and digital certificates for Internet of things (IoT) devices.

Quantum computing is widely seen as a future threat to most current IT security methods because its promised power will allow it to easily crack many types of cryptography that are currently fairly secure.

The new PKI the companies are developing will, they say, offer "end-to end, reliable" key management that enterprises can trust when the power of quantum computers comes into play against IoT systems.

"DigiCert, Gemalto and ISARA are collaborating today to solve tomorrow's problem of defending connected devices and their networks against the new security threats that the implementation of quantum computers will unleash," commented Deepika Chauhan, executive vice president of emerging markets at DigiCert, in a prepared statement announcing the partnership. "The work we're doing now will ensure that the connected systems that serve as the brains of automobiles, industrial control systems, medical devices, nuclear power plants and other critical infrastructure are safe from those threats in five, 10 and 20 years."

DigicCert will provide the encryption, authentication and hosting of the certificates; Gemalto specializes in "secure key storage and management" via its SafeNet Hardware Security Modules; and Isara is a security company that specializes in quantum-proof cryptography.

"Experts estimate that the dawn of large-scale quantum computing will arrive in the next eight to 10 years, bringing with it the moment when all current public key cryptography can no longer be trusted," commented Scott Totzke, CEO and co-founder at Isara, in the same announcement referenced above. "The work we're doing today ensures that a fundamental element of the security stack, root certificates, is secure by embedding quantum-safe cryptography. This means that IoT manufacturers and other large organizations will have the solutions and tools they need to prepare for the quantum threat well in advance of that date, keeping confidential information and high-value assets safe."

More updates will presumably be provided by the companies as the solution develops.

About the Author

Becky Nagel is the vice president of Web & Digital Strategy for 1105's Converge360 Group, where she oversees the front-end Web team and deals with all aspects of digital projects at the company, including launching and running the group's popular virtual summit and Coffee talk series . She an experienced tech journalist (20 years), and before her current position, was the editorial director of the group's sites. A few years ago she gave a talk at a leading technical publishers conference about how changes in Web browser technology would impact online advertising for publishers. Follow her on twitter @beckynagel.