“...we all need to start preparing now. The encryption technologies that are securing … systems today will one day become obsolete. If we do nothing, … data … will inevitably become more vulnerable to cyber criminals.”
An update to the Quantum Readiness Best Practices and Guidelines document is now available
The Quantum-Readiness Working Group of the Canadian Forum for Digital Infrastructure Resilience (CFDIR), chaired by Michele Mosca of Quantum-Safe Canada, has released an updated version of the Canadian National Quantum-Readiness: Best Practices and Guidelines. Though prepared with the financial sector, the document will be of great value to companies and organisations in all sectors of the economy.
“The Quantum Computing age is growing ever closer, and it could render obsolete the current encryption on which most enterprises, digital infrastructures and economies rely.”
Quantum Readiness Toolkit made available by World Economic Forum (WEF) Centre for Cybersecurity
Organizations will need to adapt to the risk posed by quantum computers, which will have the potential to break many of the cryptographic systems that we rely on today for secure communications and data protection. The WEF Steering Forum Committee on quantum security, has developed a toolkit which provides five guiding principles to become quantum-secure.
This toolkit is available at: Quantum Readiness Toolkit June 2023
WEF also released a one-pager setting out its general approach to quantum readiness: Quantum Cybersecurity Shaping Policy-Making
Michele Mosca, Executive Director of Quantum-Safe Canada, is a member of the steering committee for this WEF initiative.
“Part of making Canadian digital infrastructures quantum-safe is to be ready for the possibility that what we currently believe is strong public-key cryptography is unexpectedly broken … ”
Quantum Bridge Technologies receives federal contract to test its quantum-resistant key-distribution solution
Quantum Bridge Technologies has received a $1 million contract from the Government of Canada to test and confirm that its technology can help protect encrypted communications from being hacked using quantum computers. Company co-founder Hoi-Kwong Lo is a member of Quantum-Safe Canada’s academic advisory committee.
“To combat the risks posed by cybersecurity threats, research on quantum computers and cryptography has emerged as a vital tool for digital protection.”
Michele Mosca is leading the charge on quantum-safe cryptography to protect the digital world
“The cryptography we use to protect our digital infrastructures must be secure against tomorrow’s attacks as well as today’s. … “Quantum technology is part of tomorrow’s technology landscape, and thus we must evolve our cryptography to be secure in the era with quantum technologies.”
Read More on Dr. Mosca and his work: https://bit.ly/3XHHvSL
Full University of Waterloo report: Innovation Update Global Futures 2023
“… this strategy ensures the privacy and cybersecurity of Canadians in a quantum-enabled world.”
Government of Canada launches National Quantum Strategy to create jobs and advance quantum technologies
The Government of Canada National Quantum Strategy, released on January 13, is built around three ‘Missions’, the second of this is to ensure the privacy and cybersecurity of Canadians in a quantum-enabled world which aligns well with the work of Quantum-Safe Canada.
The full strategy can be found here:
For detailed information on the announcement, see:
“Many critical infrastructure organizations are only now starting to come to grips with the impending threats and may not yet fully appreciate the technologies and processes that need to be in place to address them.”
Quantum-Safe Canada releases training for critical infrastructure regulators
The Quantum-Safe Training Program for CI Regulators outlines a quantum-safe training program that provides needed knowledge and skills for those responsible for the administration, oversight and assessment of cybersecurity compliance of CI operators designated by Bill C-26.
For a copy of the training program, please send a request to email@example.com.
“Many critical infrastructure organizations are only now starting to come to grips with the impending threats and may not yet fully appreciate the technologies and processes that need to be in place to address them.”
The Quantum Threat Timeline Report 2022 is now available
The Quantum Threat Timeline Report 2022, the fourth in a series, continues to provide deep insights into the world of quantum computing. Most notably, it presents updated thinking of 40 quantum-computing experts around the world on when quantum computers will be able to break today’s high-strength cryptography (and thus cybersecurity).
Read Full Report: Quantum Threat Timeline Report 2022
“…this curriculum guide supports practical role-based learning requirements for individuals employed within private, public and non-profit sector organizations who will be responsible to plan, integrate, implement and manage Q-S technologies…”
Quantum-Safe Canada releases quantum-safe curriculum guide for post-secondary education and professional-training programs
Quantum-Safe Canada, with advice from technical and academic experts, provides a role-based guide to quantum-safe curriculum to facilitate the enhancement of the skillsets of the existing cybersecurity workforce. Organizational Migration to Quantum-Safe Cryptography – A Curriculum Guide, is a companion document to Organizational Migration to Quantum-Safe Cryptography: A Role-Based Framework, Learning Outcomes and Curriculum Model published in March 2022.
For a copy of the curriculum guide, please click here: Organizational Migration to Quantum-Safe Cryptography – A Curriculum Guide
"The Breakthrough Prize is awarded annually for achievements in physics, mathematics and life sciences."
Gilles Brassard, a member of the Quantum-Safe Canada Academic Steering Committee, awarded Breakthrough Prize in fundamental physics.
Gilles Brassard, a University of Montreal computer scientist who has made seminal contributions to the field of quantum cryptography, has been awarded the Breakthrough Prize in fundamental physics from the Breakthrough Prize Foundation.
Prof. Brassard was named a co-winner of the US$3-million award, together with his long-time collaborator, Charles Bennett, a researcher with IBM in the United States. Oxford University physicist David Deutsch and Peter Shor, a professor of applied mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, are also co-winners for separate contributions to the field of quantum information.
Read More: https://tgam.ca/3SIzMRp
"The Cyber Security Cooperation Program is a key element of the government’s broader plan to bolster Canada’s cyber security, which includes Bill C-26."
Government Of Canada Supports QSC Efforts to Protect Canadians from the Quantum Threat
Quantum-Safe Canada receives $675,000 for their project Laying the Foundations for a Quantum-Safe Canada, to raise awareness and preparedness of the quantum threat. This funding is made available under the Cyber Security Cooperation Program administered through Public Safety Canada.
For the government news release, see https://bit.ly/3RLwlZU
For the QSC news release, see 2022 09 07 – Laying the Foundations
“Perhaps the single greatest area of consensus amongst respondents was the importance of re-training and education of the existing workforce. Any transition will be managed by those with experience within the existing workforce because the timescale to bring in fresh graduates into the system will take too long.”
Quantum-Safe Canada releases important role-based framework for quantum-safe curriculum
This document identifies practical requirements for individuals employed within private, public and non-profit sector organizations who will be responsible to plan, integrate, implement and manage quantum-safe technologies. This includes abilities to advise on and contribute to development of related organizational policies, processes and practices.
For a copy of this report, click here: Migrating to Quantum-Safe Cryptography – A Role Based Framework
"Despite increasing urgency to develop a quantum-safe workforce, no country has begun implementing or ideating a talent/skills development strategy, roadmap or action plan."
Quantum-Safe Skills Development – An
Analysis of International Models
A study was conducted to analyze key initiatives, models, and best practices for quantum-safe skills development currently undertaken abroad, to inform quantum-safe skills and curriculum development activities in Canada.
For a copy of the study, please click here: Quantum-Safe Skills Development – An Analysis of International Models
"The time to act is now, across all fronts, including research, talent, commercialization, international and security."
Quantum-Canada’s input is well represented in new ISED report on public consultations towards a National Quantum Strategy for Canada
In response to the federal government’s Developing a National Quantum Strategy engagement paper, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) invited public submissions and held a series of roundtables with key stakeholders to better understand the challenges and opportunities in the quantum space.
This public input, from QSC and more than 300 other organizations and individuals, has been captured and shaped by ISED into a 26-page “What We Heard” report, which can be found at: Government of Canada National Quantum Strategy Consultations – What We Heard Report
"Quantum computers will break currently deployed public-key cryptography…. We need to migrate our systems and practices to ones that cannot be broken by quantum computers…. This migration should begin now."
Quantum Readiness Best Practices and Guidelines document now available
The Quantum-Readiness Working Group of the Canadian Forum for Digital Infrastructure Resilience (CFDIR), chaired by Michele Mosca of Quantum-Safe Canada, delivered the first Canadian National Quantum-Readiness: Best Practices and Guidelines. Though prepared with the financial sector, the document will be of great value to companies and organisations in all sectors of the economy.
The full report is available here:
"… the encryption that underpins the security of society’s critical infrastructure is at serious risk of being undermined by quantum computers, perhaps even within the next 8-15 years. This is the quantum threat …"
Quantum-Safe Canada responds to the federal government’s Developing a National Quantum Strategy consultation paper
Quantum-Safe Canada provides insight and feedback and recommends that Canada’s National Quantum Strategy include a strong focus on addressing the quantum threat the cryptography and thus cybersecurity. Without such a focus, Canada will lose ground as a global leader in the quantum arena and could leave itself open to devastating quantum-powered cyber attacks on critical infrastructure systems. A detailed response can be found here: QSC response to NQS engagement paper
"If we do not act, much of our critical infrastructure will become vulnerable to hostile actions because of weak cryptography."
Quantum-Safe Canada response to federal government’s Building the Canada We Want in 2050: National Infrastructure Assessment for Canada consultation paper
Quantum-Safe Canada stressed the need for the government to take a comprehensive approach to identifying infrastructure elements that are digital or digitally enabled. The cybersecurity of those elements should then be assessed, with the long-term quantum threat in mind when it comes to digitally enabled infrastructure that is expected to be in service for decades. In fact, cybersecurity should be a key lens through which government views and judges government procurement proposals and applications for approval and/or funding.
The full response can be found here: National Infrastructure Assessment and Cybersecurity
"Prepping Canada to compete in a post-quantum world, will demand a workforce whose skillset is even rarer than that required for generalized cybersecurity activities."
Quantum-safe talent and job-market analysis completed
The report was prepared for Quantum-Safe Canada by the Global Advantage Consulting Group, based on CAGR’s research and analysis regarding Canada’s current and future talent pipelines, skills needs and job market related to quantum-safe cryptography.
The full report is available here:
"Government could require proponents of infrastructure programs to provide acceptable cybersecurity strategies (including quantum-safe strategies) before receiving approval or funding."
Quantum-Safe Canada hosts a Quantum-Safe Day Roundtable
Quantum-Safe Canada, a not-for profit organization whose mandate is to drive efforts to prepare Canadian industry and government against the quantum threat to cryptography, hosted a roundtable meeting in January 2021 with leading experts from government, industry and academia to discuss what Canada and industry should do to prepare itself. A summary of the discussion can be found here: Quantum Days Quantum-Safe Canada session minutes
"In 2019 we surveyed an unprecedented breadth and depth of 22 thought leaders with questions designed to help those managing the cyber-risk associated with quantum cryptanalysis. This year we have asked the same experts for an update on their opinions and have received 21 responses to key questions ..."
Global Risk Institute provided an update to the timeline report issued in November 2019. This update, by Michele Mosca and Marco Piani, documents a shift in the opinions from the last report due to the advances and changes in the quantum computing landscape.
Quantum computers use quantum systems to run computations that go beyond what is achievable by standard computers. They do this by exploiting quantum features that are difficult to preserve and control; this makes building a quantum computer an immense challenge. Despite some skepticism about their realizability, no fundamental roadblock has been identified, and relatively small prototypes have already been built.
Once available, full-fledged quantum computers will be able to solve computational problems previously thought to be intractable, hence breaking several elements of the current cybersecurity infrastructure. This update can be found at: https://globalriskinstitute.org/publications/quantum-threat-timeline-report-2020/
"It may not be evident to most people in their day-to-day lives, but cryptography is an integral part of the modern economy."
Malek Ben Salem and Benjamin McCarty, www.accenture.com.
Unless we take action, this is exactly what we could face. Existing cryptography works because it’s so hard to break with classical computing technology. Even a supercomputer would need hundreds of years just to break a single public-private key, for example. But rapidly advancing next-generation computing technology threatens to change this radically. Quantum computing, specifically, promises such vastly increased computational power that existing cryptographic methods would be breakable fast enough to render the entire internet insecure…
"According to The Future Series Report, quantum computing, artificial intelligence, digital identity systems (such as e-passports) and the ubiquitous connectivity of devices and networks are transforming the foundations of cyberspace and have brought the industry to a watershed moment."
Amanda Russo, Public Engagement, World Economic Forum, +41 79 392 6898, firstname.lastname@example.org
November 15th, 2020
- The future of the cybersecurity industry and the security of everyone’s personal data will hinge on managing four technologies, according to the first technology-centred industry study
- Industry leaders say we are at a watershed moment as cyberspace dynamics evolve – the future is not a continuation of current challenges
- Quantum computing, artificial intelligence and digital identity pose a critical risk to the hyperconnected global economy as criminals of the future shift the attacker-defender balance by exploiting these technologies
- Actions from the security and technology industry can identify gaps in defence capabilities while creating much needed jobs
- Read the report at: Future Series: Cybersecurity, Emerging technology and Systemic Risk
Geneva, Switzerland, 16 November 2020 – COVID-19 has led to an acceleration of cyber-attacks targeting those working from home, hospital systems and financial institutions. However, the next wave of cybersecurity risks will not be a continuation of these challenges, and incremental progress will not be enough to stop them …
"By developing a Canadian-UK secure network built on the security principles of technologies, the goal is to build a standardized quantum-safe networking architecture."
November 13th, 2020
Earlier this year, Canada and the United Kingdom (UK) joined together to put a call out for proposals of collaborations between leading-edge scientists and potential innovative users from industry and government sectors to accelerate the development of quantum technologies.
Professor Michele Mosca leads one of the three successful University of Waterloo proposals. His co-applicants, Professors Douglas Stebila and Norbert Lütkenhaus (Physics), are working with industry and academic partners to combine the technologies and designs of Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) and Post Quantum Cryptography (PQC) technologies. By developing a Canadian-UK secure network built on the security principles of technologies, the goal is to build a standardized quantum-safe networking architecture …
“Establishing Alberta as a leader in quantum technologies will give a competitive boost to our economy and create new jobs today and for the future.” Doug Schweitzer, Minister of Jobs, Economy and Innovation
October 23rd, 2020
The University of Calgary has received $11.8 million in funding this year, supporting leading-edge research that will help establish Alberta as a national and international hub for quantum computing and related spinoff industries. This work will position Alberta as a leader in solving global health challenges and advancing technologies for the energy and environmental sectors.
As part of this funding, researchers at the University have been awarded $3 million through the province’s Major Innovation Fund, which will help the University of Calgary’s Quantum Alberta network take advantage of the province’s academic strengths and investment opportunities to establish Alberta as a leader in quantum technologies. Growth in this sector will help attract talent to the province, create long-term jobs, and help commercialize new technologies in a number of areas including molecular chemistry, large-scale biological research, geological exploration, space technology and quantum satellite communications …
Quantum-Safe Canada and CyberNB announce partnership
October 22nd, 2020
Quantum-Safe Canada is pleased to announce our partnership with CyberNB / CIPnet. We look forward to working together on innovative efforts to future-proof Canada’s infrastructure by supporting cutting-edge research and raising awareness of the need to prepare for emerging threats. A key example of the latter is the ‘quantum threat’, which necessitates an orderly migration from currently deployed cryptography to post-quantum cryptography and quantum key distribution.
October 6th, 2020
Industry Association will accelerate the commercialization of Canada’s quantum sector – a $142.4B opportunity for Canadians.
Toronto, Canada (October 6, 2020) – A consortium of Canada’s leading quantum technology companies announced today that they are launching Quantum Industry Canada (QIC), an industry association with a mission to ensure that Canadian quantum innovation and talent is translated into Canadian business success and economic prosperity.
The twenty-four founding members represent Canada’s most commercial-ready quantum technologies, covering applications in quantum computing, quantum sensing, quantum communications, and quantum-safe cryptography …
Douglas Stebila, Quantum-Safe Canada (QSC) Academic Steering Committee
August 27th, 2020
The University of Waterloo emerged as the Canadian institution with the largest involvement in the latest round of submissions selected by the United States National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in the Post-Quantum Cryptography Standardization process.
After three years of review, four submissions involving Waterloo researchers in the Department of Combinatorics and Optimization are among the seven finalists and eight alternates, still in the running for potential standardization in the future, selected by NIST in the third round of the competition-like process. There were originally a total of 69 submissions received from around the world.
Cryptographic standards are particularly important, as they enable secure communication and commerce at a global scale. These standards take a long time to develop, and the cryptographic standards available today were developed before cryptographers really took the threat of quantum computers seriously …
Gilles Brassard, Quantum-Safe Canada (QSC) Academic Steering Committee
May 8th, 2019
Gilles Brassard, a member of the Quantum-Safe Canada (QSC) Academic Steering Committee has recently awarded a 2019 Micius Quantum Prize along with Charles Bennett for “their inventions of quantum key distribution, quantum teleportation, and entanglement purification.”
The prize recognizes significant advances in the field of quantum communications, quantum simulation, quantum computation, and quantum metrology. Bennett and Brassard were honoured for several theoretical breakthroughs. In 1984, they developed a practical system of quantum cryptography, allowing secure communication between parties who share no secret information initially, based on the uncertainty principle instead of on usual computational assumptions such as the difficulty of factoring. In 1993, the two fellows, in collaboration with others, discovered quantum teleportation. Later, Bennett helped found the quantitative theory of entanglement, and introduced several techniques for faithful transmission of classical and quantum information through noisy channels …
May 6th, 2019
The Globe and Mail newspaper has published “The quantum threat to cybersecurity: Danger meets opportunity”, an op-ed by Tiff Macklem of the Rotman School and Michele Mosca and Brian O’Higgins of QSC:
“By now, most of us know that quantum computing is coming and will bring an almost unimaginable increase in computing power. The ability to perform previously impossible calculations is expected to enable wonderful advances in, for example, the development of new life-saving drugs and novel energy-saving materials. Canada’s leadership in quantum computing and artificial intelligence provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our businesses to be at the vanguard of the application of these new technologies.”
Unfortunately, those same powerful quantum properties have a dark side: They will also enable much of today’s “unbreakable” encryption to be hacked in mere minutes. The encryption that underpins the security of the world’s current cyberinfrastructure will likely be undermined by quantum computers relatively soon – arguably in the next 10 years, but perhaps earlier. Even now, those with malevolent intent are able to copy and store encrypted data until a quantum computer is available to decrypt it …
April 16th, 2019
The Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) publishes a revised version of QSC’s February submission to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security:
“… Many people have heard of quantum computing, know that it’s coming and are aware that it will bring an almost unimaginable speed-up in the ability of computers to perform many kinds of calculations. This will allow wonderful advances in, for example, our ability to discover new materials and design new life-saving drugs. Unfortunately, powerful quantum computers will also enable the hacking of today’s “unbreakable” encryption in minutes” …
April 8th, 2019
Angela Mondou, author, entrepreneur and founder of ICE Leadership Inc., shared her insight into technology commercialization at the CryptoWorks21 Distinguished Lecture March 12.
In an entrepreneurial environment always focused on turning the newest technology into a viable startup company, it’s easy to lose sight of the dedicated effort it really takes to turn an idea into a profitable business. One of the first hurdles to overcome in the process to commercialize technology is crossing the chasm …
February 27th, 2019
Quantum-Safe Canada Managing Director, Dr Michele Mosca, and QSC Board Chair Brian O’Higgins appeared as invited witnesses before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security, which is conducting a study of Cybersecurity in the Financial Sector as a National Economic Security Issue. Their testimony was drawn from a written brief, The Quantum Threat to Cybersecurity, which was submitted to the Standing Committee beforehand …
January 9th, 2019
In his own words, Marc Morin is “addicted to the game.”
Morin is the CEO and co-founder at Auvik Networks, pronounced awe-vik, as in awesome. “It’s like having a child who does way better than you and it’s awesome,” Morin explained at the CryptoWorks21 Distinguished Lecture last fall. Elaborating on his evolving role as a CEO in a tech company, he shared lessons learned—the mistakes he made and the things he got right—during his personal journey as a serial technology entrepreneur …
The cell phone chip Manku developed to see radio frequency.
April 6th, 2018
The concept for his latest startup is something straight out of a superhero movie. Just like Batman used high-frequency sonar signals from millions of cell phones to visualize the location of villains throughout Gotham City in Dark Knight, entrepreneur Taj Manku is developing new software that could soon allow our cell phones to see in the dark. “Our cells phones are like lightbulbs radiating radio frequency light, the problem is that our eyes can’t see the spectrum,” said Manku, who gave a lecture on the ups and downs of startup life last Tuesday as part of Cryptoworks21. “What if we could build software into every cell phone chip that could use this spectrum to see in the dark?”
Manku is no rookie to the demands of turning a big idea into a business. He created four successful startups in a row over 20 years after leaving his job as an engineering professor. He knows what it takes to not just survive, but also thrive as a startup …
Quantum-Safe Canada welcomes measures in Budget 2018 to address cyber security, including quantum safety
March 1st, 2018
OTTAWA, ON (March 1, 2018) – Proposals in the federal Budget 2018 to invest significant additional resources to ensure the security of Canada’s digital infrastructure are both timely and welcome, according to Quantum Safe Canada.
First, the Government of Canada proposes investments of $507.7 million over five years, and $108.8 million per year thereafter, to fund a new National Cyber Security Strategy, which is expected to be released within weeks.
The National Cyber Security Strategy is to focus on three principal goals: 1) Ensure secure and resilient Canadian systems; 2) Build an innovative and adaptive cyber ecosystem; and 3) Support effective leadership and collaboration between different levels of Canadian government, and partners around the world. Quantum-Safe Canada has been working alongside the Government and other key partners in identifying the necessary components of the national strategy, and looks forward to playing a meaningful role in its implementation.
Second, the Government also proposes to commit $155.2 million over five years, and $44.5 million per year ongoing, to the Communications Security Establishment to create a new Canadian Centre for Cyber Security. By consolidating operational cyber expertise from across the federal government under one roof, the new Centre will establish a single, unified Government of Canada source of unique expert advice, guidance, services and support on cyber security operational matters, providing Canadian citizens and businesses with a clear and trusted place to turn to for cyber security advice.
This approach is in accordance with the approach put forward by Quantum-Safe Canada in our discussions with federal officials over the past year. We naturally look forward to continuing this tradition of constructive engagement toward important national goals.
Third, the Government proposes to provide the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) with renewed funding of $15 million over three years to continue to undertake high-calibre quantum research. Since its inception, IQC members have conducted fundamental research, training and outreach pertinent to key elements of the Quantum-Safe Canada vision, and we are pleased to see this renewed funding.
Quantum-Safe Canada was established to drive the efforts necessary to prepare for and respond to the quantum threat to encryption and cybersecurity — and to grasp the opportunities that exist in properly managing that threat. It is a not-for-profit organisation directed by a group of highly accomplished leaders from Canada’s academia, government and industry.
For additional information, please visit www.quantum-safe.ca or contact Bill Munson, Director of Research and Policy Analysis at email@example.com
February 12th, 2018
CryptoWorks21 convened a valuable workshop on standards and standardization in the Mike & Ophelia Lazaridis Quantum Nano Centre on January 11. The workshop was intended to introduce companies and academics in the quantum / cryptography ecosystem to the pertinent features of the standards landscape. There is a growing awareness of the strategic value of standards to export-ready companies and of the need for more Canadian organizations to become engaged in standardization efforts as a means of accessing global markets …
January 29th, 2018
The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) is opening a cyber security lab and investing $1.78 million into research at the University of Waterloo to develop advanced cybersecurity and privacy tools, announced January 29, 2018.
Cybersecurity researchers in the David R. Cheriton School for Computer Science and the Department of Combinatorics and Optimization are the recipients of a $1.78 million investment from RBC. Among other initiatives, the funding supports Waterloo researchers and educators working in post-quantum cryptography …
Sherry Shannon-Vanstone opened her toolbox at the CW21 Distinguished Lecture – Tools for Commercialization
January 29th, 2018
“To the man that has only a hammer, everything he encounters begins to look like a nail.”
Your toolbox needs more than just a hammer. Why? That’s exactly it – Why?
Sherry Shannon-Vanstone told a crowd of academics, business professionals and entrepreneurs that …