Aachen, Germany, and Campbell (CA), USA, July 9, 2020 – Utimaco, a global leader in high-end IT security solutions, is the first vendor to offer a hardware security module (HSM) that enables companies to protect their systems against quantum computer-based attacks. The Q-safe 1.0 firmware extension combined with Utimaco’s CryptoServer HSM enables the use of new algorithms that have been developed to withstand quantum computers. This is Utimaco’s response to the threat posed by the forthcoming market maturity of quantum technology. These powerful computers can effectively override many of the encryption methods currently used in IT security. Security authorities around the world, such as NIST, the National Institute of Standards and Technology in the US, have been recommending to prepare for the switch to post-quantum cryptography for several years. NIST is currently in its second round of standardization of post quantum cryptographic algorithms. In addition to the technology that it has just presented, Utimaco offers comprehensive consulting services to help companies enter the age of post-quantum cryptography.
Utimaco underscores its pioneering role
Utimaco has been investing in post-quantum cryptography since 2017. The company has various research partnerships, with Microsoft Research and several universities, for example. Last year, Utimaco introduced its Q-safe Simulator to the market. Companies can use this simulator to test for the first time ever what effects the use of quantum-safe algorithms has on their IT infrastructure. The next step now is Q-safe, which enables them to leave the proof-of-concept phase and actually go live with quantum-safe cryptography.
“We are launching the first product that enables companies to arm themselves with quantum-safe cryptography,” says Malte Pollmann, Chief Strategy Officer of Utimaco. “The agility and migration capability of encryption for data and applications is a complex task indeed. We are proud of our pioneering role in this area, which we have achieved through years of cooperative research and development. Now it’s important to provide concrete help to as many critical infrastructures and companies as possible in their transition to post-quantum cryptography and an age of hybrid encryption.”
Companies must act
The clock is ticking for companies in all industries: Those of them who want to develop products and services that will still be secure in the future must take the initiative as quickly as possible. After all, the complexity of the new algorithms is often unmanageable for today’s systems, which is why a large-scale overhaul of the infrastructure is necessary. This process takes time though. Furthermore, product lifecycles, which are often long, must also be taken into account. A motor vehicle with an average product life of twelve years must be designed already today in such a way that no IT security risks arise during this period – and beyond.
“The switch to quantum-safe cryptography poses enormous challenges for all companies with security-critical applications. Some of them have developed an in-house inventory of their encryption and a roadmap for migration, while others are only now recognizing the need to act promptly. We offer them not only the security solutions they need, but also comprehensive expertise. The goal is a comprehensive and sustainable crypto-architecture that can protect data and applications,” Malte Pollmann explains.
Quantum computers could well become a reality in the near future. Companies such as Google, Honeywell, IBM and Intel regularly announce progress in the further development of the technology. The declared goal is to develop market-ready products in the years to come. Certain mathematical problems could be solved much faster than today’s most powerful supercomputers could ever solve them. Since the public-key and signature methods commonly used today are based on such mathematical problems, quantum computers effectively break their security.
Utimaco is an international provider of IT security solutions with headquarters in Aachen (Germany) and Campbell, CA (USA). Utimaco develops hardware security modules and key management solutions as well as compliance solutions for telecommunication providers in the field of regulation. Utimaco is one of the world’s leading manufacturers in both of these market segments.
Over 300 employees have committed to the company´s goal to protect people, identities and data. Customers and partners value the reliability and long-term investment security of Utimaco’s high-security products and solutions. Utimaco stands for recognized product quality, user-friendly software, excellent support and products that effectively meet market requirements. Further information is available at www.utimaco.com.