Quantum Computing Cybersecurity Act Passes Senate

Quantum Computing Cybersecurity Act Passes Senate

US Senators Rob Portman (R-OH), ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) announced that the Senate passed their bipartisan Quantum Computing Cybersecurity Preparedness Act to strengthen national security by preparing. the federal government’s defense against data breaches enabled by quantum computing.

As quantum computers, including those developed by the United States’ adversaries, continue to become more powerful and more widely available, federal agencies must work proactively to ensure that federal cybersecurity protections remain up to date. The bipartisan companion bill in the House was introduced by Representatives Nancy Mace (R-SC) and Ro Khanna (D-CA).

“Quantum computing will allow for major advances in computing power, but it will also create new cybersecurity challenges,” said ranking member Portman. “I am pleased that the Senate passed our bipartisan legislation to require the government to inventory its cryptographic systems, determine which are most at risk from quantum computing, and upgrade those systems accordingly.”

“Data breaches exploited by quantum computers are a serious national security issue. America’s adversaries look for any vulnerabilities in our cybersecurity systems to threaten our infrastructure, data and security,” Senator Hassan said. “It is critical that we are ready to defend against any adversaries who use this incredibly sophisticated and emerging technology against our country. Protecting our homeland security is a bipartisan issue – I am pleased that the Senate passed our bill and I will continue to work to get it across the finish line.”

“Not only must our country lead the world in the research and development of quantum technology, but we must also lead the way in post-quantum cybersecurity standards across government,” said Rep. Mace said. “The passage of this bill is a crucial step forward in securing our nation against the threats of the future and preparing ourselves for this leap in technology.”

“As quantum computing advances, we must take steps to protect the personal data of Americans as well as the data of US national security and government agencies,” said Rep. Khanna said. “I am pleased that the Senate passed this bill to proactively keep our systems and valuable data secure and to establish Congress’ oversight role in the process.”

The Quantum Computing Cybersecurity Preparedness Act would:

  • Requires the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to prioritize the acquisition and migration of federal agencies’ information technology to post-quantum cryptography;
  • Directs OMB to create guidance for federal agencies to assess critical systems one year after the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) issues planned post-quantum cryptography standards;
  • Direct OMB to send an annual report to Congress that includes a strategy on how to address post-quantum cryptography risks, the funding that may be needed, and an analysis on whole-of-government coordination and migration to post-quantum cryptography standards and information technology.

Read more at the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs

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