Cover: The Evolution of the Post-Quantum Cyber Environment

The Evolution of the Post-Quantum Cyber Environment

Published in: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, Volume 24, Number 2, pages 137-145 (Fall 2023). doi: 10.1353/gia.2023.a913639

Posted on rand.org Dec 11, 2023

by Michael J. D. Vermeer

Quantum computers are expected to one day be capable of breaking public key cryptography, enabling a step change in cyberwarfare capabilities. Risk can be mitigated using new quantum-resistant cryptography algorithms, but the international migration to a new cryptography standard will be time-consuming, costly, and dependent on the work of international standards-developing organizations. Technical standards are increasingly a focus of geopolitical competition, as China has attempted to manipulate standards organizations to tilt standards in their favor. Contrasting national approaches to this competition could significantly impact the evolution of the post-quantum cyber environment. The United States should continue its domestic efforts to migrate to a new cryptography standard, pursue international standardization, and maintain a measured strategy to counter interference from China in open standardization processes.

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