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President Biden signs Quantum Computing Cybersecurity Preparedness Act

By Dan O'Shea posted 22 Dec 2022

The White House announced late Wednesday that President Biden signed the Quantum Computing Cybersecurity Preparedness Act into law.

The signing of the act officially puts the federal government’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to task on overseeing and urging government agencies to migrate to post-quantum cryptography (PQC).

As Skip Sanzeri, co-founder and COO of QuSecure, put it to IQT News, “The Quantum Computing Cybersecurity Preparedness Act requires federal agencies to migrate systems to post quantum cryptography which is resilient against attacks from quantum computers. And the Office of Management and Budget is further required to send an annual report to Congress depicting a strategy on how to assess post-quantum cryptography risks across the federal government.”

QuSecure is one of the companies that will benefit from any acceleration in the PQC migration. Sanzeri added, “We applaud President Biden’s signing legislation today encouraging federal government agencies to adopt technology to protect against quantum computing attacks. It’s important that the U.S. move as quickly as possible to act against the coming quantum threat since it takes significant effort to upgrade existing systems. Meanwhile, quantum computers are under development globally, with some adversarial nation states putting tens of billions of dollars into programs to create these very powerful machines that will break the encryption we use today. While not here yet, quantum computers will be online in coming years, but it will take more than a few years for our federal agencies and commercial enterprises to upgrade their systems to post quantum cybersecurity.”

 The Quantum Computing Cybersecurity Preparedness Act progressed through Congress starting with the bill’s conception last spring, passage by the House of Representatives last summer and more recently the approval of the Senate.

The federal government last month sought to speed up the PQC migration progress, issuing a memo that urges all federal agencies to comply with a May 2023 deadline for providing an inventory of assets that could be vulnerable to quantum computers. Still, many parties have acknowledged that the migration process will take years to complete.

Dan O’Shea has covered telecommunications and related topics including semiconductors, sensors, retail systems, digital payments and quantum computing/technology for over 25 years.

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A ytterbium optical lattice clock at NMIJ, National Metrology Institute of Japan used to measure International Atomic Time (TAI)