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NATO Cyber Security Centre successfully tests post-quantum secure communication solution

The NATO Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) successfully tested secure communication flows in a post-quantum environment, using UK-based cyber security company Post-Quantum‘s virtual private network (VPN), the NATO Communications and Information Agency announced on 2 March.

Andersen Cheng, CEO of Post-Quantum, informed Janes that the trial initially started in March 2021, and was completed in March 2022, however, they were unable to disclose where the trial had been conducted.

The company demonstrated its ‘Hybrid Post-Quantum VPN‘ during the trial, with Cheng adding that “[because] it will take many years for the world to completely migrate to a quantum-safe future, our VPN combines both new post-quantum and traditional encryption algorithms. In the case of NATO, as it has many member states using different communications equipment at different levels of readiness, it is more practical to combine these new algorithms with the already widely used traditional encryption in order to ensure interoperability”.

He further outlined that “[a] VPN can use these algorithms to secure communications, ensuring that only the correct recipient can read the data”.

When asked about specific details relating to the trial, Cheng said that the project was initiated by NATO in order to investigate the feasibility and practicability of such a solution in real-world implementations, and that Post-Quantum was subsequently selected to conduct this project owing to their experience in such conditions.

The trial confirmed that it is indeed feasible to implement a technology solution like Post-Quantum‘s, Konrad Wrona, principal scientist, NCSC, told Janes.

Wrona added that the next stage of the project will be to demonstrate the results of the trial to NATO and national stakeholders to instigate subsequent steps.

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