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IBM wants to make quantum computing safer for everyone

Quantum Chip
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

In order to help protect existing data in the cloud and prepare for future threats that could evolve with advances in quantum computing, IBM has announced a new series of cloud services and technologies to aid clients in maintaining the highest available level of cryptograpic key encryption.

These new services and technologies, that were first pioneered by IBM Research scientists, will allow the company to offer quantum-safe cryptography support for both key management and application transactions in IBM Cloud.

Quantum computing will enable researchers to solve complex problems that even today's most powerful supercomputers cannot solve. However, future fault-tolerant quantum computers could pose potential risks such as the ability to quickly break encryption algorithms. To mitigate these risks, IBM has developed a clear strategic agenda to help protect the long term security of its platforms and services.

As the next step in this agenda, the company is bringing encryption capabilities built by IBM Research cryptographers to help clients with a quantum-safe cryptography approach for their data-in-transit within IBM Cloud. These new capabilities are designed to help enterprises prepare for future threats and can be useful in fending off attacks in which cybercriminals harvest encrypted data today in order to decrypt it later as quantum computing advances.

IBM has also introduced a new cloud-based service called IBM Key Protect that provides lifecycle management for encryption keys that are used in IBM Cloud services or client-built applications.

IBM Cloud Hyper Protect Crypto Services

As enterprises also need to mitigate risks from external and internal threats while addressing regulatory compliance, IBM Cloud is delivering new capabilities to help secure application transactions and other sensitive data using IBM Cloud Hyper Protect Crypto Services. These services offer the highest level of cryptographic key encryption protection by providing customers with 'Keep Your Own Key' (KYOK) capabilities.

IBM Cloud Hyper Protect Crypto Services allows customers to have exclusive key control and total authority over the data and workloads protected by the keys. IBM Cloud clients are designed for application transactions which require more advanced cryptography and because of this they can keep their private keys secured within the cloud hardware security model while offloading TLS (Transport Layer Security) to IBM Cloud Hyper Protect Crypto Services to establish a secure connection to the web server.

VP and CTO of IBM Cloud Hillery Hunter explained how the company is working to protect data in the quantum era in a press release, saying:

"As our reliance on data grows in the era of hybrid cloud and quantum computing capabilities advance, the need for data privacy is becoming even more critical. IBM now offers the most holistic quantum-safe approach to securing data available today and to help enterprises protect existing data and help protect against future threats. Security and compliance remain front and center for IBM Cloud as we continue to invest in confidential computing and our leading encryption capabilities to help enterprises of all kinds – especially those in highly regulated industries – keep data secured."