Quantum News Briefs July 4:
Quantum Xchange announces the general availability of CipherInsights™ for cryptographic risk management
An alarming 80% of network traffic has some defeatable flaw in its encryption. Large, legacy systems are often fraught with old and outdated cryptographic standards such as MD5, SHA-1, TLS 1.1, or SSL 3.0 in use years after they’ve been deemed unreliable. This common occurrence exposes data and communication networks to unnecessary risk and introduces vulnerabilities ready for exploitation by bad actors.
Deployed as a passive listener on the network, CipherInsights from Quantum Xchange continuously monitors dozens of risk factors in near real time, including where encryption is deficient or outright lacking. By helping to identify outdated cryptographic protocols in use, weak or poorly signed certificates, or communications that should be encrypted but appear in clear text, enterprises can prioritize risk remediation, maintain compliance, enforce policies, and improve their overall security posture.
Cryptographic clarity will play an important role in coming years as most organizations will need to identify and replace quantum-vulnerable public key encryption with NIST-backed post-quantum cryptography. Understanding when, where, and how outdated cryptographic protocols are used throughout the enterprise will be a critical first step in this inevitable, multiyear cryptographic transition.
“The addition of CipherInsights to the Quantum Xchange product portfolio supports our ongoing mission to shift how government agencies and commercial businesses treat and manage cryptography today and in the post-quantum future,” said Eddy Zervigon, CEO of Quantum Xchange. “To fully realize the promise of a crypto-agile infrastructure, organizations must be able to discover, deploy, and manage cryptography holistically and through policy. Quantum Xchange is delivering on this promise with the immediate function of CipherInsights and the patented, quantum-safe, and crypto-agile technologies and management capabilities of our flagship platform Phio TX.”
Sold as a software license, CipherInsights’ total cost of ownership varies depending on the size and complexity of the customer’s network. To learn more about CipherInsights from Quantum Xchange download the data sheet here. To read the complete June 28 announcement click here.
Australia’s quantum sensor startup Nomad Atomics raises $12m
Quantum sensor technology developed by atomic physicists from the Australian National University (ANU) has received $12 million in funding from two of the country’s major deep-tech venture capital firms, Blackbird Ventures and Right Click Capital, according to July 3 Business News Australia.
The capital will be deployed by Nomad Atomics to accelerate the commercialisation of its field-deployable quantum gravimeters and accelerometers, which were developed by co-founders Kyle Hardman, Paul Wigley and Christian Freier.
“Transitioning quantum technologies from the lab environment to reliable operation in the field is challenging, and has hampered their commercialisation and widespread use,” says Hardman, who is also Nomad Atomics CEO.
“We founded Nomad to address this challenge, by developing robust sensors with reduced size, weight and power requirements to enable real world applications – taking technology that would take up entire rooms in research labs and placing it all in a self-contained 20x20x30cm box to produce the world’s first survey-style absolute gravimeter.”
Nomad’s chief operating officer Paul Wigley claims nothing like this technology has ever been done, “especially not on this timescale”.
“We custom designed and built nearly everything, and because of all that, today we have the most highly integrated, smallest sensor of its type in the world,” he says.
Quantinuum H-Series quantum computer accelerates through 3 more performance records for quantum volume: 217, 218, and 219
Quantinuum set a big goal back in 2020 when we launched our first quantum computer, HØ. HØ was launched with six qubits and a quantum volume of 26 = 64, and at that time Quantinuum made the bold and audacious commitment to increasing the quantum volume of our commercial machines 10x per year for 5 years, equating to a quantum volume of 8,388,608 or 223 by the end of 2025. In an industry that is often accused of being over-hyped, a commitment like this was easy to forget. Diligently, the scientists and engineers continued to achieve world-record after world-record in a tireless and determined pursuit to systematically improve the overall performance of our quantum computers. As seen in Figure 1, from 2020 to early 2023, Quantinuum have steadily been increasing the quantum volume to demonstrate that increased qubit count while reducing errors directly translates to more computational power. Just within 2023 there have been multiple announcements of quantum volume improvements. In February Quantumuun announced that H1-1 had leapfrogged 214 and achieved a quantum volume of 215. In May 2023, the company launched H2-1 with 32 qubits at a quantum volume of 216. Now Quantinuum is announcing the sequential improvements of 217, 218, and 219, all on H1-1.
Importantly, none of these results were “hero results”, meaning there are no special calibrations made just to try to make the system look better. The quantum volume data is taken on their commercial systems interwoven with customer jobs. What was experienced is what customers experience. Instead of improving at 10x per year as committed back in 2020, the pace of improvement over the past 6 months has been 30x, accelerating at least one year from the 5-year commitment. While these demonstrations were made using H1-1, the similarities in the designs of H1-2 (now upgraded with 20 qubits) and H2-1, our recently released second generation system, make it straightforward to share the improvements from one machine to another and achieve the same results. Click here to read the entire article in-entirety on Quantinuum site.
Keyfactor announces updates with post-quantum readiness & Internet of Things (IoT) security
“Today, many organizations aren’t prepared for the transition to post-quantum cryptography. Whether they are ready or not, the new algorithms and standards are coming soon, and PKI will need to adapt accordingly,” said Ted Shorter, Chief Technology Officer, Keyfactor. “As a leader in PKI and cryptography management, we have put ourselves in front of this coming wave, and our mission is to lead our customers through their post-quantum transition. We’re committed to providing the tools and capabilities they need to establish and maintain digital trust in their ecosystem as their security needs evolve, including in their transition to post-quantum security and securing emerging IoT devices by design.”
New features with EJBCA 8.0 include:
- Post-Quantum Preparation: Support to start testing and evaluating new quantum-safe candidate algorithms for certificate issuance and certificate signing, including Dilithium and Falcon. The update allows companies to better prepare for the inevitable transition to post-quantum cryptography ahead of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) finalizing standardization in 2024.
- New IoT Security Capabilities: A new modular extension to EJBCA, plus support for the Matter Smart Home standard, extends the powerful capabilities already offered by Keyfactor today by making it even easier for manufacturers to deploy public key infrastructure (PKI) on the factory floor, at the edge, or in operational technology (OT) environments, while supporting industry requirements.
- Agile SSH Certificate Issuance: A new SSH Certificate Authority (CA) type that helps organizations move towards a more agile and secure approach of establishing trusted connections with machines. Specifically, the update makes it possible for organizations to issue host and user SSH certificates, enhance security with the ability to issue short-lived SSH certificates, and replace static SSH keys and passwords that are hard to manage and vulnerable to theft or misuse.
Sandra K. Helsel, Ph.D. has been researching and reporting on frontier technologies since 1990. She has her Ph.D. from the University of Arizona.