IBM Sees Quantum Security in the Cloud

By The Console Connect Team|30 September, 2019


With the intention to unveil quantum-safe cryptography services on its public cloud in 2020, IBM is bringing together its hybrid cloud leadership with quantum and security research expertise to stay at the forefront of quantum cyber-security threats.

For those that have tracked the adoption of the cloud and witnessed challenges over security concerns, it may seem somewhat ironic to see predictions claiming that cloud holds the key to future security developments.

In a recent announcement, Harish Grama, general manager at IBM Cloud, said: “IBM Cloud is taking the critical steps needed to help enterprises ensure their data stays secure in a quantum future. Starting in 2020, IBM Cloud will roll out new services that will help keep data secured and private from the emerging cyber-security challenges presented by future quantum computers.”

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Existing encryption could be redundant in 10 years

Concerns over data security have been one of the most prevalent challenges to the adoption of cloud services by enterprises. However, IBM predicts that due to the rate of progress in quantum computing, data protected by current asymmetric encryption methods could become insecure within the next 10 to 30 years. Of course, while this development is years away, data can be harvested today, stored, and decrypted in the future with a powerful enough quantum computer.

“As quantum systems become more powerful they will also impact information security and create new opportunities for improving security for data both on-premises and in the cloud,” the company said.

The initially accessible services are based on quantum-safe algorithms that use open standards and open source technology to bolster transport layer security (TSL) and secure socket layer (SSL) security connections in IBM Cloud services. This will help protect data while it’s in transit within the IBM Cloud. IBM is also evaluating approaches to provide services that render quantum-safe digital signatures.

Quantum security in private and public clouds

“In order to prepare for the impact that quantum computers are expected to have on data security, IBM Research has been developing cryptographic algorithms that are designed to be resistant to the potential security concerns posed by quantum computers,” said Vadim Lyubashevsky, cryptographer at IBM Research. “Our jointly developed quantum-safe algorithms, part of a lattice cryptography suite called CRYSTALS, are based on the hardness of mathematical problems that have been studied since the 1980’s and have not succumbed to any algorithmic attacks, either classical or quantum. This is why we have made our algorithms open source and have submitted them to NIST for standardization.”

Largely considered a strong number four in the market, IBM Cloud is pushing hard in the data science space with its Watson platform. The company has a strong following among large enterprise IT users and it’s acquisition of Red Hat makes it a serious contender on the hybrid cloud landscape. 

Take a look at our IBM Cloud connectivity options here and check out our enterprise guide to the hybrid cloud for more information on what the hybrid cloud can do for your business. 

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