NSA’s Deborah Frincke on Quantum-Resistant Encryption

Deborah Frincke
Deborah Frincke

Deborah Frincke, director of research at the National Security Agency, said federal government agencies should begin adapting their digital security processes for the future amid rapid developments in quantum computing technology, Nextgov reported Monday.

Quantum computers could break the codes that secure digital data, but Frincke believes expediting the deployment of encryption schemes without thorough vetting could result in additional risks.

"There are two ways you could make a mistake with quantum-resistant encryption: One is you could jump to the algorithm too soon and the other is you jump to the algorithm too late,” she said. “It's very important that people wait for NIST to do its due diligence.”

The National Institute of Standards and Technology launched a competition in 2016 to come up with “quantum-resistant” algorithms. In January, the agency selected 26 entries that would move to the next phase. NIST is putting the 26 algorithms through an 18-month vetting process with plans to trim that number to 12 by June 2020.

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