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NIST publish the highly anticipated draft standards for Quantum-Safe cryptography, supported by PQShield
[August 24, 2023]

NIST publish the highly anticipated draft standards for Quantum-Safe cryptography, supported by PQShield

  • PQShield and the global cryptography community have helped refine the algorithms NIST announced last year in preparation for final standards in 2024
  • Post-Quantum Cryptography schemes co-designed by PQShield have been included, following security, implementation and performance analyses by NIST. 
  • The drafts will get their first full round of feedback from the cryptographic community at the 2nd Oxford PQC Summit, to be held at Oxford University in September, sponsored by PQShield and the UK National Cyber Security Centre 
  • PQShield is now launching its Enterprise Software Access Program, which will provide eligible companies with a free access to evaluate Quantum-Safe software solutions 

LONDON, Aug. 24, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- PQShield, a global leader in quantum-resistant cryptography, today announced its post-quantum algorithm contributions have been published to form the basis of the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) new draft post-quantum cryptography (PQC) standards. The standards, which aim to protect digital information and systems from attack by quantum computers, were co-developed by PQShield and other global leading experts following a seven-year process where candidate algorithms were reviewed and analysed by NIST and the cryptographic community.

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The draft standards have now been published by NIST for public review and can be found below:

A fourth scheme derived from Falcon will be published soon.

Team PQShield contributed to and advised on all candidate algorithms developed as part of the NIST standardisation process, in addition to providing security, implementation and performance analyses of candidate algorithms over multiple rounds of the process. 

To deliver rapid feedback on these new draft standards, PQShield and the UK National Cyber Security Centre are sponsoring the 2nd Oxford Post-Quantum Cryptography Summit at Oxford University in September, which will convene leading experts from academia and industry, at a 4 day event at Oxford University's Institute of Mathematics, where PQShield founder Dr. Ali El Kaafarani is a research fellow. The invite-only event will take place 4th-7th September 2023.

Following this, the draft standards will likely become the global benchmark for quantum-resistant cybersecurity cross the world in 2024.

Professor Peter Schwabe, PQShield advisory board member, says: "As governments and businesses gear up their defences against the quantum threat, this next stage of NIST's post-quantum cryptography standardization efforts is crucial in building our secure future. PQShield has played a central role in driving post-quantum cryptography forward, both in the international research community and bringing commercial success to quantum-secure solutions. I look forward to the outcomes of the 2nd Oxford PQC Summit."

The rise of quantum computers has led to an urgent need for new cryptographic standards to safeguard global privacy and data. PQShield has seen strong growth in demand for its post-quantum cryptography software and hardware, recently announcing a series of deals to meet this rising commercial demand, for example ,joining commercial partnership programmes with Palo Alto and Tata Consultancy Services. In particular, companies across the Semiconductor, Industrial, Defence, Automotive and Systems Integrator sectors, including Microchip Technologies, Collins Aerospace, MBDA Missile Systems, HCL Technologies,, Lattice Semiconductor, and AMD, are proactively working with PQShield to implement the new draft standards. 

PQShield was also recently selected by AWS to participate in its AWS European Defence Accelerator, to advance the development and deployment of cutting-edge technology in Defence.

As part of the World Economic Forum's Quantum Security focus, PQShield took part in developing the Quantum Security Readiness Toolkit which aims to help business leaders assess their quantum risk. This builds on other post-quantum cryptography projects that PQShield has contributed to or led organisations such as RISC-V, GSMA, the Internet Engineering Task Force, NCCoE and GlobalPlatform, amongst others.

Dr Ali El Kaafarani, PQShield's founder and CEO, says: The release of the draft standards marks a significant turning point for PQShield and the entire cryptographic community. Previously, a key barrier to adoption and migration to post-quantum cryptography has been confidence in exactly how and when the new algorithms will be finalised. NIST's new draft standards provide this assurance and a framework that allows everyone to move forward. This is a testament to the expertise of our world-leading researchers and engineers as well as the collective dedication of the entire post-quantum cryptography community.

Building on PQShield's partnership with leading industry innovators, the company is also announcing its Enterprise Software Access Program, which will allow eligible companies to access PQShield's PQC Software solutions that incorporate the latest specifications released by NIST. Companies should pre-register their interest on this landing page

The updated software will be available in September, free to use for a period of time for non-commercial purposes and will include:

  • PQCryptoLib - A fully portable cryptographic library with a C/C++ interface of FIPS 140-3-ready, post-quantum (PQC) and classical cryptographic algorithms, supporting crypto-agility.
  • PQCryptoLib Micro - This is a highly-optimised version of PQCryptoLib, specifically designed for memory-constrained platforms like microcontrollers.
  • PQSDK - provides easy-to-use software implementations of both post-quantum and classical cryptographic primitives, including an integration of PQShield's PQCryptoLib library with popular high-level cryptography libraries like OpenSSL and mbedTLS.

Further notes:

  • PQShield advisory board member Professor Peter Schwabe (Radboud University and the Max Planck Institute for Security and Privacy) co-authored the finalists CRYSTALS-Dilithium, CRYSTALS-KYBER and SPHINCS+
  • PQShield's Dr Thomas Prest led and co-authored Falcon, a finalist digital signature algorithm
  • PQShield have recently submitted 4 new algorithms with collaborators including the French cybersecurity agency, ANSSI, to the NIST call for further quantum-safe digital signatures

About PQShield:

PQShield is a post-quantum cryptography (PQC) company creating the global standards and core technologies to power the future security layer of the world's leading organizations. Its quantum-secure cryptographic solutions work with companies' legacy systems to protect sensitive data now and for years to come.

It is the only cybersecurity company that can deliver high-quality secure implementations of quantum-safe cryptography on chips, in applications, and in the cloud, and is also an authority on PQC side channel attack resistance, having built a dedicated SCA test lab with partners, Riscure and eShard.

PQShield is also a leading contributor to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) post-quantum cryptography standardization project, and has contributed multiple cryptographic extensions to RISC-V.

With dedicated research and development teams throughout the UK, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Poland, US, Japan and UAE, PQShield is principally backed by Addition, Crane Venture Partners, Oxford Science Enterprises (formerly OSI), Kindred Capital, and InnovateUK.  Its latest white papers are available to read here. | LinkedIn | Twitter


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