Colonial Pipeline Attack in the Quantum Era Is a Very Real Scenario that Requires Action Today
(QuantumXC) The Colonial Pipeline disruption was a direct result of the infrastructure’s lack of cyber preparedness, and while the hackers’ motive might have been ransom money, rather than destruction driven by pure cynicism, the vulnerability is equally as alarming. This major pipeline transports 45% of the east coast fuel supply with 5,500 miles of pipelines, and was forced to cease operations temporarily due to the attack.
Attacks like those against the Colonial Pipeline have left many wondering, “What are the government’s next steps in protecting our critical infrastructure?” As bad as the Colonial Pipeline attack was, we can expect to face even bigger problems once quantum computing becomes a staple for nefarious actors. And The National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) time frame for deploying adequate protection against quantum threats isn’t promising.
Frequent attacks against critical infrastructure pose an immediate need to make changes to our systems now. NIST emphasizes a quantum security plan that isn’t very time-sensitive. The adoption of standards for Post Quantum Cryptography (PQC) is projected to debut by 2024, but NIST cautions organizations that another 5-15 years will be needed before a full cryptographic transition is completed. This timing is problematic on many fronts and presents a host of adoption challenges as outlined in our previous blog post here. How then can organizations, especially those in critical industries, better protect themselves from today’s threats and the cyber attacks of tomorrow?
There’s no time to wait. Our nation’s vital industries must prepare now for the quantum age with ultra-secure and quantum-safe key distribution. The Phio Trusted Xchange (TX) solution uses a separate, out-of-band key distribution architecture, over a quantum-safe network, to prevent an attacker from simply copying the data and the key that protects it from a single network connection. It’s the only quantum-safe key distribution system that provides true crypto agility — meaning it can support quantum keys from any source — and can be deployed within your organization’s existing network today.