The GSMA is working with IBM and Vodafone to form the GSMA Post-Quantum Telco Network Taskforce, which the trio say will support the post-quantum cryptology roadmap.
Their purpose is to help define operator policies, regulations and business processes to better protect telecommunications as: quantum computer takes on a more prominent role.
Rather than relying on bits for calculations like today’s computers, quantum machines use the exponential power of quantum bits, called qubits. That involves a simultaneous mix of zeros and ones and opens up the possibility of solving complex problems that today’s supercomputers struggle with.
The Taskforce was established to help navigate these new waters. The team will help define requirements, identify dependencies and create the roadmap to implement quantum secure networksto help mitigate potential risks.
“The purpose of the GSMA Taskforce is to bring together leading global communications service providers with experts from IBM, Vodafone and other operators and ecosystem partners to understand and implement quantum secure technology,” said Alex Sinclair, Chief Technology Officer at the GSMA.
These future quantum-secure controls are designed to protect sensitive corporate and consumer data from attackers who collect today’s data for later decryption.
That will be no small feat either. In its announcement, the GSMA noted the recent World Economic Forum estimate that more than 20 billion devices will need to be upgraded or replaced in the next 10-20 years to enable the new forms of quantum-secure technology. encrypted communication.
“By working together to establish consistent policies, we can define quantum secure approaches that protect critical infrastructure and customer data, complementing our ongoing security efforts to increase resiliency in future networks,” Sinclair added.
In July 2022, the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) announced that it had selected the first four post-quantum cryptographic algorithms to be standardized for cybersecurity in the age of quantum computing.
These are designed to rely on the computational difficulty of problems from the mathematical fields such as lattices, isogenies, hash functions and multivariate equations, and to protect current systems from future quantum machines.
Taskforce member IBM, which has the world’s largest fleet of cloud-accessible quantum computers, contributed to the development of three of these four chosen algorithms.
“Given the accelerated progress of quantum computing, data and systems secured with current encryption could become insecure within a few years,” warned Scott Crowder, vice president of IBM Quantum Adoption and Business Development.
“IBM is pleased to partner with members of the GSMA Post-Quantum Telco Network Taskforce to prioritize the telco industry’s move to adopt quantum-secure technology.”
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