Post-quantum cryptographic solutions refers to a range of public-key cryptographic solutions that are considered secure in the quantum setting. Many of these algorithms are currently going through a standardization process being held by the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST). A few other institutions like the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) and the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) are also developing their own standards, but the majority of the focus is on NIST’s post-quantum standardization process (NIST PQS). This process was officially announced in late 2016 and has recently entered Round 3 (of at most most four rounds). Please see our Round 3 article here for more information on this process.

Post-Quantum Public Key Exchange 

Post-quantum public key exchange refers to a set of algorithms designed to create a shared secret key over a public (unsecure) network, which are perceived to be quantum-safe. The NIST PQS process is currently standardizing some of these algorithms. The mathematical categories of these algorithms include isogeny-based, lattice-based, and code-based. There are pros and cons to each of these and thus NIST is expected to standardize more than one algorithm before the process is complete. PQSecure is working with each of these algorithms to develop high quality solutions once the standards are announced.

Post-Quantum Digital Signatures

Post-quantum digital signature algorithms are designed to not only verify the sender of the information, but also to validate the contents have not been changed, all while being quantum-safe. There are a few examples of post-quantum digital signatures that are already standardized (XMSS and LMS NIST FIPS 186), but the NIST PQS process hopes to standardize a few more of these algorithms to offer a wider range of possible solutions. 

Post-Quantum Solutions
Type Category
Key Exchange Isogeny-based, Lattice-based, Code-based
Digital Signature Lattice-based, Hash-based

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