The United States is in a race with foreign adversaries, particularly China, to develop quantum computing, an evolving technology that can run exponentially faster than today’s systems and perform multiple computations at once and potentially can be used against the U.S.'s critical infrastructure.
As such, Washington is pushing hard to beat Beijing to develop quantum technology that could advance artificial intelligence, driving innovations from energy to medicine and beyond, and other positive uses but also potentially deployed in code-cracking cyber warfare. While other countries are pouring millions into quantum computing, the technology is in its developing stages and but not close to being deployed at scale.
Biden Orders New Quantum-Resistant Cryptographic Standards
In an executive order intended to address the risks posed by quantum computers to the nation’s cybersecurity, Biden signed a National Security Memorandum. Biden so-ordered the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to publish new quantum-resistant cryptographic standards that can protect against future attacks.
Some experts believe that it isn’t a question of if, but when, today’s cryptography, which protects the internet, will be broken. In the latest development, some key technology and business leaders recently told a U.S. House of Representatives Homeland Security subpanel that more collaboration between the public and private sectors would help identify cyber threats.
Sharing Threat Intelligence Urged
Ron Green, executive vice president and chief security officer at Mastercard, said that partnership could enable the government to share threat intelligence with the private sector so that both sectors can mitigate cybersecurity risks posed by U.S. adversaries. (via The Hill)
“Our digital world is too interconnected, and threats are too fast changing for any one organization to counter them alone,” Green said.
Green also suggested that Congress authorize the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) to create a national cyber training center school cybersecurity workers in identifying and mitigating national security threats arising from emerging technologies.
“Planning for an attack is crucial, but those plans are ultimately worthless without practice,” Green said.
Robert Knake, a U.S. official at the White House’s Office of the National Cyber Director, told lawmakers in April that companies want the federal government to share cyber intelligence.
“What we’ve heard from every private sector company we talked to is to make sure that we can provide the one thing that private companies can’t do on their own, which is intelligence,” Knake said at the time. (via The Hill) “Only the U.S. government can collect intelligence, and only the U.S. government can provide it back. So that’s a major focus of our efforts.”