Proposed quantum cybersecurity measures: Insights from the European Policy Centre paper

EPC’s paper proposes a cybersecurity strategy for quantum computing, highlighting the need for an EU Coordinated Action Plan to address ‘harvest attacks’ and quantum threats on encryption amid rapid advancements in the field, affecting sensitive document declassification rules.

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The European Policy Centre, a think tank based in Brussels, has released a paper proposing a quantum computing cybersecurity strategy. The paper titled ‘A quantum cybersecurity agenda for Europe‘ argues that the EU should establish a Coordinated Action Plan to effectively address ‘harvest attacks’ and other potential quantum attacks on encryption in the future.

Currently, EU governments declassify sensitive documents after a specific period, typically ranging from 20 to 50 years. However, concerns have arisen about the security of this approach, as cybercriminals can now decrypt and disseminate such information much faster. In some cases, it takes as little as seven years for them to achieve this. The paper emphasises that the EU lacks a clear strategy to tackle immediate threats like ‘harvest attacks,’ where hackers download encrypted information and decrypt it later.

The suggested focus should be on adopting post-quantum encryption and implementing national migration plans to enhance security. Additionally, there is a need for improved security risk management and a more nuanced approach to encryption to safeguard against potential quantum-based cyber threats.