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Edge Ask The Experts

12/27/2019
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How Can My Security Team Begin Future-Proofing for Quantum Computing?

Knowing where your digital certificates are is just the start.

Question: How should my security department begin future-proofing for quantum computing?

JD Kilgallin, senior integration engineer at Keyfactor: To future-proof enterprise networks and systems against threats posed by quantum computing, security teams should be prepared to take quick action. At the very least, this requires knowing where your digital certificates are, what cryptographic algorithms their keys are using and what quantum computing means for them, and what systems need to trust those certificates and might experience an outage if the certificate and its chain suddenly change.

It also requires the ability to quickly coordinate changes between entity certificates and the trust anchors of other endpoints that rely on those certificates. Administrators should keep a careful inventory of these keys and certificates and employ automated techniques to securely deploy updates en masse. This can be a large undertaking that administrators should begin preparing for sooner rather than later.

In the meantime, security teams should ensure that all sensitive communications that rely on digital certificates to protect communication confidentiality are employing ciphers that offer forward secrecy, so that stored communications are not disclosed when the key is compromised in the future by quantum computers.

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