(AjuDaily) Cheon Jung-hee, a prominent mathematician and cryptographer in South Korea, has pushed for the early introduction of quantum-resistant cryptography technology, saying that if quantum computers are commercialized, existing encryption algorithms, which were difficult to solve even after decades, will be resolved within minutes.
Cheon, a Seoul National University professor of mathematical sciences, established Cryptolab, a data security startup, in 2017 to commercialize his homomorphic encryption technology called “HEaaN” that provides the ability to analyze data while being encrypted. It is advertised as the only solution that provides real-number calculation among homomorphic encryptions that can perform calculations while protecting sensitive information.
Cryptolab holds patents on the original technology of homomorphic encryption for the arithmetic of approximate numbers. With HEaaN, Cheon aims to have a firm position in the international application market. Big tech companies such as IBM and Microsoft are implementing their own homomorphic encryption. However, Cheon said with a firm conviction that his technology is far better and verified through performance evaluation results.
Homomorphic encryption schemes have difficulty in commercialization because the size of ciphertexts exponentially increases when iterating operations with it. HEaaN discards small values of numbers to increase the calculation speed and minimizes inefficiencies that occur during computation with homomorphic encryption. “HEaaN’s problem is that there is a limit to processing speed due to a lot of computing resources, and we are developing hardware accelerators to solve it,” Cheon said.
The startup has also attracted investment from Samsung Electronics and LG Uplus (LGU+). Samsung’s investment is related to homomorphic encryption, while Cheon works with LGU+ to commercialize post-quantum cryptography (PQC) that refers to cryptographic algorithms that are thought to be secure against an attack by a quantum computer.
Quantum cryptography is an essential security solution for safeguarding critical information. Data encoded in a quantum state is virtually unhackable without quantum keys which are basically random number tables used to decipher encrypted information.