June 27, 2019

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"Quantum computers are also on the horizon. Utilizing the strange rules of quantum mechanics, they will enable super-fast computations that ordinary computers would find too difficult. Although it is impossible to know exactly how quantum computers could be used, they do hold revolutionary potential..."

Quantum future: Recovery will depend on keeping information secure

March 3rd, 2021
 

The rise of Quantum computing has increased opportunities for quantum-safe companies like evolutionQ to design and sell products to promote a quantum-safe future. The University of Waterloo has featured Quantum Safety in its daily bulletin.The COVID-19 pandemic hobbled economies around the world, but Waterloo spinoff companies such as evolutionQ are working to secure Canada’s recovery.

The company’s latest venture involves firing photons at satellites in space to pioneer solutions for ultra-secure “quantum keys” that lock and unlock encrypted information. The Canadian Space Agency recently awarded evolutionQ a research grant to help bring satellite-based quantum key distribution into a future world where economic security will very much depend on computer security.

David Jao, chief cryptographer at evolutionQ and a professor in Waterloo’s Faculty of Mathematics, says Canada needs such a system because of the numerous cyber threats ahead.

"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 ..."

Quantum Threat Timeline Report 2020

January 27th, 2021
 

We are pleased to provide an update to the first report issued in November 2019. This report 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 …

"It may not be evident to most people in their day-to-day lives, but cryptography is an integral part of the modern economy."

The Race to Crypto-Agility

Malek Ben Salem and Benjamin McCarty, www.accenture.com.

January 2021

Without the ability to encrypt, and thus secure, data transmissions over the internet, so much of what we do online—from shopping to working to socializing—would be so risky as to be effectively impossible.
 

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."

Next Generation Tech Creates Watershed Moment for Cybersecurity Industry

Amanda Russo, Public Engagement, World Economic Forum, +41 79 392 6898, arus@weforum.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 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."

Collaborating to advance quantum technologies in Canada and the UK

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

Province gives $11.8M to U of C for quantum research, other projects

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 …

Logo of CyberNB
Quantum-Safe Canada lo-res stacked white

 

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.

Quantum Canada’s Leading Quantum Technology Companies Launch “Quantum Industry Canada” 

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

Researchers leading quest to protect against quantum attacks

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

CIFAR fellows awarded 2019 Micius Quantum Prize

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 …

 

"This is the quantum threat, and what it means in plain terms is that Canada’s – and every country’s – national security and economic prosperity will be at risk as government, communications, transportation, banking, energy and other critical infrastructure systems become vulnerable to hostile actions."

Danger meets opportunity

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 …

"Canada is in the vanguard globally in both cryptography and quantum information science, and strong in cyber security applications and services."

The Quantum Threat to Cyber Security

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” …

Crossing the chasm – still a relevant challenge

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 …

"Canada must respond proactively to the quantum threat, implementing the elements that will enable an orderly and timely transition to quantum-resistant cryptography."

QSC introduces parliamentary  committee to the quantum threat

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 …

"It's like having a child who does way better than you and it's awesome."
Image of Marc Morin

The “Blood, sweat, tears, toil and triumphs” of commercialising technology 

 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 …

"I never understood what it was like to lose sleep until I became an entrepreneur."

The cell phone chip Manku developed to see radio frequency.

The ride of your life: surviving and thriving in the startup world

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 lo-res stacked white

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 bill.munson@quantum-safe.ca

QSC leadership hosts workshop on Standards and Standardization

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 …

Collaborating with the University of Waterloo’s Faculty of Mathematics and their pool of talented researchers will give us more brain power to continually develop Canadian talent to support the demands of the cyber security industry.

Quantum-safe efforts supported by RBC investment in cybersecurity research

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.” 
Abraham Maslow

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 …