Abu Dhabi’s CRC creates first PostQuantum Cryptography (PQC) software and hardware library in the Emirates
(ITP.net) Abu Dhabi’s Technology Innovation Institute (TII) is a research centre dedicated to digital and computing breakthroughs in a wide range of areas including cryptography, robotics, energy, security and more.
ITP.Net recently interviewed Dr Najwa Aaraj, Chief Research Officer, at TII’s Cryptography Research Centre (CRC) about the organisation’s work to safeguard data and information and IQT News summarizes the interview here with attention to her remarks about quantum computing.
The CRC’s main role is to conduct advanced research and development across multiple areas of cryptography, including the design and development of classical crypto libraries, post-quantum cryptography, as well as lightweight cryptography. In addition, the Centre’s teams explore cryptography for the cloud, confidential computing and privacy preserving schemes, hardware-based cryptography, cryptanalysis, and cryptographic protocols.
In March 2021, the CRC created the first PostQuantum Cryptography (PQC) software and hardware library in the Emirates. “Given the growing focus by the world’s research entities and higher education institutions today on strengthening their digital infrastructures and on building a working quantum computer, we prioritised the PQC library to safeguard against attacks by quantum computers”, said Aaraj.
The PQC library is an attempt to stay one step ahead of cybercriminals as, while quantum computing is a reality, it is not yet widespread and remains expensive.
The majority of cryptography used today is based on math-based algorithms that are primarily utilised in public key cryptography, however, this presents a problem, according to Aaraj, “When sufficiently powerful quantum computers become a reality, today’s widely prevalent public key cryptographic schemes will be completely weakened by the relevant quantum algorithms.”
her belief is that the PQC library will provide the answer, “The PQC library provides multiple schemes for public key encryption, key encapsulation mechanism and digital signatures that are resistant to quantum computers. They are very different from today’s public key algorithms, whose security levels can plunge to zero with the arrival on the scene of quantum computers,” Aaraj claims. The PQC will offer a level of security that is resistant to even quantum computers and CRC crytographers and their global peers are working on the development of PQC algorithms.
In the crypto arms race, the future is PostQuantum and the PQC library stands as the best defence in the face of an ever-increasing wave of cyberattacks.