President Biden’s National Security Memorandum “will have huge implications for quantum technology and quantum security”
(Forbes) President Biden signed a National Security Memorandum January 19 “on Improving the Cybersecurity of National Security, Department of Defense, and Intelligence Community Systems,” which will have huge implications for quantum technology and quantum security for the United States and for the world.
This document (NSM-8) is the first that coming out of the White House national security apparatus that specifically mentions quantum-resistant cryptography in the context of current federal cybersecurity planning, according to Arthur Herman, author of this Forbes article. He explains, “That’s a big victory for the Quantum Alliance Initiative, which has been pushing the quantum security issue for the past four years, and for quantum information science generally.”
The key provision is here:
Within 180 days of the date of this memorandum, agencies shall identify any instances of encryption not in compliance with NSA-approved Quantum Resistant Algorithms or CNSA, where appropriate in accordance with section 1(b)(iv)(A) and (B) of this memorandum, and shall report to the National Manager, at a classification level not to exceed TOP SECRET//SI//NOFORN.
However, Herman warns, “Still, NSM-8 leaves a huge gap in raising awareness of the need to defend against the quantum threat: namely, the private sector” and advises “Given the fact that the federal government finally admits this is a security threat grave enough to demand action from agencies within the next 180 days, that’s all the more reason why private industry needs to take this threat seriously as we’ve been urging in these columns, without waiting for the slow-moving bureaucratic machinery of Washington to put together a plan to protect the rest of us.”