The current cryptographic protocol recommended by TLS 1.3 does not have an RSA cryptosystem as a default standard. This leaves us with few options. Although it would have been great to have alternate protocols to address the vulnerabilities, NIST is working on a few protocols to standardise the same for vendors to adopt. While some vendors have already gone ahead with protocols they believe will eventually take the lead, QNu has developed "Hodos" based on two front-running protocols to launch its PQC algorithms.
Hodos is a post-quantum cryptographic algorithm developed by QNu labs with NIST PQC studies as reference. Hodos is the next generation of protocol which will help replace todays RSA based systems with a improved quantum resistant transport layer. Hodos is based on NIST selected mathematical functions, which are far harder to backtrack as compared to the prime factorization and elliptic curve functions on which the current PKI is based on.
NIST has been working on the algorithms since 2014, and after the third round of evaluation in July 2020, it narrowed the selection down to seven finalists and eight alternate algorithms. QNu found lattice-based algorithms to be the best from the lot, and was selected for Hodos. Depending on NIST’s updates, the algorithms might be changed accordingly in the future without affecting operations.
Rapid digital transformation is heightening security risks and making systems prone to vulnerabilities. Cryptosystems should be agile and move at the same speed as digital adoption.
PKI is highly adopted because of its ease of usage. When shifting the cryptosystems, integration is a tremendous task; any gaps in implementation may lead to attacks. Hodos uses NIST recommendations, which makes it easy to integrate it with the present system and future upgrades.
Firstly, it is not a scalable solution because the processing power needed to compute long keys will add latency to communication. With the increase in data processing, there is additional latency for communications, which makes this option no longer viable.
Secondly, with quantum computers becoming a reality, just increasing key size will not make PKI safe. The key size will need to be increased by many times to safeguard it from a quantum computation, which is impossible. Therefore, organizations like NIST have started searching for new algorithms that are safe for today and the future.
The complexity of lattice-based algorithms used for Hodos is many times greater than the present PKI systems. This complexity generates keys that are quantum resistant.
Hodos provides the agility to wrap the existing crypto infrastructure as suggested by NIST and make the encryption quantum-resistant in a few hours. Hodos eliminates the requirement of ‘rip and replace’, and thus, saves costs and investments.
Hodos can be easily integrated into other QNu solutions. This scales up the solution and security capability, thereby addressing a wide range of implementations.
Quantum-resistant key generation and distribution
Works across any networks and geographies
Cryptoagility and easy integration with existing protocols
No requirement of additional hardware device for functionality
Data is the most valuable asset for any organisation. The shelf life of sensitive data is more than 10 years and more than 25 years for critical data. This shows that today’s encryption still poses a risk in the coming years. Moving to Hodos will help in securing your data and reduce the risk of data theft for today and tomorrow.
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