At last year’s Mobile World Congress the GSMA published a white paper titled “Post Quantum Telco Network – Impact Assessment” which advised operators and industry partners to:
- “Plan for future implementation to the transition to Post-Quantum Cryptography.
- Begin deploying Post-Quantum Cryptographic algorithms as they are standardised.
- Take advantage of cross- industry and Government moment”
Last month we wrote a blog What is the quantum safe SIM and why does it matter? which sparked a lot of interest with Telecom26’s customers and partners.
We already have a large enterprise trialling our Quantum safe SIMs so are well ahead of most operators.
Our team of global connectivity experts will be out in force at this year’s Mobile World Congress at the end of the month, so if you’d like to meet up to discuss how Quantum will affect SIMs in the future – and the measures you need to protect the SIMs used by your employees and devices including IoT then please get in touch.
In the meantime, a quick summary is below…
Quantum, super-fast computers and SIMs
Put simply, Quantum computers are very, very good at breaking encryptions.
With SIMs increasingly important for authentication in banking systems; central to autonomous vehicles; essential for remote monitoring, measurement and control; and an essential element of mobile-connected IoT applications, the risk of Quantum computing being used for nefarious purposes and targeted against SIM-based applications and devices is huge.
Today, AES – Advanced Encryption Standard – is widely used in SIMs for protection. However, this will not be enough to proof against the new capabilities offered by Quantum computers – and actually AES doesn’t fully protect against “side channel” attacks, which use metrics such as power consumption, electromagnetic activities and so on to understand what’s going on inside the device - and hence to break the cypher.
Fortunately, there is a solution – and more encryption is the answer. Extended AES is an updated version of AES that is, well, longer. It uses more bits in the key – 256, with 512 proposed. Simultaneously, the ITU is also pursuing programmes to help networks generally defend against Quantum attack.
In the short term, users can upgrade SIM cards as often as possible, a task made much easier with the advent of eSIM. eAES is already available for 5G SIMs, so it’s not that the problem has been solved (there are still billions of SIMs that remain active in networks around the world, and which use lesser levels of protection), but there’s definitely a pathway towards Quantum-safe computing devices – and these include those that use SIMs of all forms.
Telecom26 – following the standards to protect your devices
Telecom26 has invested in one of the most secure networks globally. We provide additional levels of security to protect our customers and their devices, which go above and beyond standard offers from traditional mobile network operators.
However, we are not complacent. We continue to work with our partners and suppliers to ensure that our assets are quantum safe – and that includes the SIMs that are the vital component for network authentication and connectivity. And, unlike other providers, we’re always open to discuss our security measures and safeguards, as well as our plans to strengthen them. When you choose Telecom26, you get a partner that understands security and takes care of your business. It’s our future – and yours.
Telecom26 offers a full range of telecom services and connectivity options including 5G (where available), LTE-M, Wi-Fi, private networks, 2G, 3G and 4G, as well offshore connectivity capabilities.
Our customers include businesses of all sizes across the world, OEMs and NGOs who want a single delivery partner, cross-border solutions and network coverage that is secure, resilient and can be tailored to meet specific and evolving needs.
If you’d like to organise a video call to discuss Quantum and how we can help improve the global connectivity of your team when they are out and about including maritime connectivity please get in touch.And, of course, please get in touch if you’d like to meet at MWC.