Connects decision-makers and solutions creators to what's next in quantum computing

White House Instructs Agencies to Prepare for Quantum Attacks

White House Instructs Agencies to Prepare for Quantum Attacks

John Potter

November 29, 2022

2 Min Read
The White House
The White House has instructed agencies to prepare for quantum attacks.Getty

The Biden Administration’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has released a new memorandum updating guidance for U.S. federal agencies on migrating to post-quantum cryptography. The memo aims to counter the risk of near-future quantum computers becoming capable of breaking current encryption techniques.

The memo follows a similar memorandum in May directing federal officials to start preparing for post-quantum cryptographic systems. However, this memo details new cybersecurity requirements for U.S. federal agencies and instructs them to inventory their cryptographic hardware and software systems, particularly those deemed high-value assets.

The federal agencies must compile this information and submit it to the Office of the National Cyber Director and the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, as they are both charged with facilitating the transition to post-quantum cryptography. The U.S. government intends to prioritize this transition for federal agencies with high-risk computer systems that handle sensitive data.

“The Biden-Harris Administration is working to ensure U.S. leadership in the emerging field of quantum computing,” said Chris DeRusha, the federal chief information security officer.

“This global technology race holds both great promise and threats. We are prioritizing our efforts to secure the federal government’s sensitive data against potential future compromise by quantum computers; this action signifies the start of a major undertaking to prepare our nation for the risks presented by this new technology.”

Related:White House Directives Aim to Boost Quantum Computing Industry

OMB officials said that the U.S. government's migration to post-quantum cryptography will take several years and that the move will require strategic collaboration with the National Security Agency and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

The U.S. government has tasked NIST with determining the best quantum-resistant algorithms for the U.S. government to pursue. NIST's Post-Quantum Cryptography Initiative has been intimately involved in this effort, having released four quantum-resistant algorithms that meet its post-quantum cryptography requirements. 

About the Author(s)

Sign Up for the Newsletter
The most up-to-date news and insights into the latest emerging technologies ... delivered right to your inbox!

You May Also Like