The Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) today announced the availability of a new research brief from the Quantum-Safe Security (QSS) Working Group titled Quantum Random Number Generators, a whitepaper that looks to detail the impact of randomness on security in an effort to develop the building blocks for effective encryption.
Quantum computing, which involves joining the power of atoms and molecules to perform memory and processing tasks, has the potential to perform certain calculations significantly faster than any silicon-based computer. When fully realized, quantum computing will have a far greater capability than today's modern day supercomputer with performance gains in the billion-fold realm and beyond. With its advent, there is a growing area of concern and attention for businesses and security professionals.
A random number is generated by a process whose outcome is unpredictable, and which cannot be reliably reproduced. Random numbers are foundational to information security and are the building blocks of encryption, authentication, signing, key wrapping, one-time codes, nonces, and other cryptographic applications. The performance and characteristics of random number generators have a strong impact on security. Attackers do not usually attempt to crack encryption, they simply steal or guess keys. Poor quality or insufficient quantity of random numbers make it that much easier, reducing security well below its designed level and making the overall system vulnerable.
Headed up by co-chairs, Bruno Huttner of ID Quantique and Jane Melia of QuintessenceLabs, the QSS – Working Group is focused on stimulating the understanding, adoption, use and widespread application of quantum-safe cryptography to commercial institutions, policy makers, and all relevant government bodies. Using quantum random numbers is one of the strategies recommended by the QSS - WG to protect and future proof data against improvements to computer power, new attack strategies, weak random number generators, and the emergence of quantum computers.