A Challenge to Encryption

By Mark Pecen

Mark Pecen serves as CEO of Approach Infinity, Inc. and Chief Operating Officer of ISARA Corporation. Mark invented a number of technologies that have been adopted in global standards, including the Global System for Mobile Telecommunication (GSM), Universal Mobile Telecommunication System (UMTS), High-Speed Packet Access (HSPA+), Long-Term Evolution (LTE) for 4G wireless and others.  

Debates about encryption have been a hot button issue for some time, as privacy advocates and law-enforcement agencies debate about the merits of privacy versus security. However, a revolutionary advance in computing is just around the corner – and it could change the entire debate. Quantum computers have the potential to effortlessly break the encryption algorithms that protect data all around the world. The Cipher Brief spoke to Mark Pecen, Andrew Shields, and Charles Brookson, all of whom are currently working with the European Telecommunications Standards Institute to develop encryption that cannot be broken by quantum computers. According to them, the adoption of quantum-safe encryption must be done as soon as possible in order to ensure that private data stays private.

The Cipher Brief: Some of our readers may be unfamiliar with the importance of encryption. Could you briefly explain what encryption is used for and how it affects people’s daily lives? 

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