Published on January 5th, 2021 | by Bibhuranjan


How Can Quantum Computing’s Superb Cryptography Protect Apps?

Using various quantum phenomena like superposition and entanglement to perform computation is known as quantum computing, and the machines that perform the same with ease are quantum computers. With each day, quantum computing’s rise is looking to manifest the stories of science fiction into hard-hitting reality. At the same time, the World Economic Forum cited that the rise of quantum computers might create widespread security threats by breaking the cryptography that fortifies the digital ecosystem. But the IBM Cloud promises to solve such potential disasters.

What are the challenges before us?

The systems running currently depend primarily on public-key cryptography. It is the primary source of problems that will initiate when large-scale quantum-based computers are universally operational. The quantum-computers function in a realm that will negate such public-key cryptography. As a result, security will be compromised, and there will be large-scale threats of data loss and other significant concerns.

How to overcome such uphill challenges?

IBM’s research proves to be a pathbreaker in the direction of quantum-computing safety. IBM has developed a clear-cut strategy involving the research, development, and standardization of core quantum-secure algorithms in various open projects like Open Quantum Safe and Crystals.

Since quantum-computing systems will solve complex problems beyond supercomputers’ reach, IBM cloud is looking to refurbish the entire concept of digital security. Let’s take a more in-depth look.

Transport Layer Security or TLS connections are some of the most popular public-key cryptographic connections widely used to secure network data. Though highly secure and effective while catering to cloud applications and cloud-based data, any future attacker can access the network traffic, store the relevant information, and use that to decrypt it in the future when quantum-computers are in full use.

When session storage begins with a key exchange between two parties, the above attack can be executed by decrypting the TLS connection establishment phase. To mitigate such risks that prevail during TLS connections, IBM cloud has developed Quantum-Safe-Crypto Key-exchange-mechanisms. Such mechanisms like KYBER can be implemented during the session-key establishment of the TLS connection phase.

Why should you trust IBM Cloud to protect your cloud-native apps?

IBM cloud has heralded the future of data security and digital safety against potential threats that might jeopardize connections, data and every relevant digital domain. It has developed the market’s leading data-protection capabilities to protect data-at-rest.

IBM Cloud’s Hyper Protect Crypto Services employs a Keep Your Own Key (KYOK) management solution that protects the data-at-rest. The data-in-use is protected with IBM cloud Data Shield and its superb confidential computing abilities. On the other hand, the IBM Cloud Hyper Protect services also secure the data-in-transit and often offload the TLS connections.

IBM cloud has not stopped its fortifications here. The company’s foresight has prompted them to secure the cloud-native applications in TLS connections by enabling QSC support. It will safeguard them from potential security risks in the future. There are times when the cloud-native containerized applications run on IBM Cloud’s Red Hat OpenShift or IBM cloud Kubernetes Services. In the former case, the TLS connections are handled by an HAproxy router in Red Hat OpenShift deployments. In the last implementations, the same is done by an ingress controller.

Further benefits

IBM Cloud has further walked the mile and created a customized ingress controller for its Kubernetes deployments and a customized proxy router for IBM Cloud-managed OpenShift. This step is taken by IBM Cloud to enable the applications with QSC-protected access to IBM Cloud’s clusters. IBM Cloud has developed these solutions keeping in mind the requirements of the clients. The QSC-protected TLS session key establishment will hugely benefit such clients, and thus, they can easily access these clusters. Their application logic would not require any code change for further security provisions.

These custom ingress controllers and routers feature terminating TLSv1.3 connections for QSC-enabled applications and complete backward compatibility for non-QSC functions. The above approach has opened the gates for network connections to employ QSC KEM algorithms for session key establishment and the further possibilities of using a hybrid-QSC session key establishment. It is a unique way to prepare for the staged transition to QSC operation that will take over in the future.

Closing thoughts

Since computing is getting a massive makeover from traditional to quantum systems, the data, network, and platform security needs to be duly revised to provide additional support and make the entire system flawless. With quantum-computers set to achieve previously impossible targets, refurbishing the idea and structure of security using IBM Cloud’s innovative approaches holds a significant promise for the future of computing.

Photo by Michael Dziedzic on Unsplash

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About the Author


Editorial Officer, I'm an avid tech enthusiast at heart. I like to mug up on new and exciting developments on science and tech and have a deep love for PC gaming. Other hobbies include writing blog posts, music and DIY projects.

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