Home HP’s firmware now prevents quantum hacks

HP’s firmware now prevents quantum hacks

March 11th – Quantum computers may bring transformative capabilities to organizations, especially those dealing with specific, complex computational challenges. But they also introduce a certain level of risk.

Hewlett Packard has launched what it’s calling the world’s first business-grade PCs, which are designed to protect firmware from quantum-based cyber attacks.

Preventing quantum hacks

Devices will be upgraded with HP’s Endpoint Security Controller (ESC) chip, presenting users with security that ensures the manageability and protection of data. The added layer of protection works by isolating the chip from the processor and the operating system.

The new safeguard is expected to become more important than ever due to an expected increase in quantum computer attacks.

“Research shows that 27% of experts think there is a 50% likelihood of a cryptographically relevant quantum computer (CRQC) by 2033. When that day comes, the security of existing digital signatures on firmware and software will be in question and digital trust will dissolve,” says Ian Pratt, global head of security for personal systems at HP.

HP’s quantum initiative

While software can be upgraded to contend with quantum-related challenges, hardware can’t. Thus, HP hopes to get ahead of the issue early.

HP has called attention to the strategic timing of the quantum mitigation features launch, noting its criticality given the pace of development in quantum.

As typical refresh cycles now take place every three to five years, the “migration to post-quantum cryptography must start now,” says Pratt.

Rising quantum security concerns

An array of industry and political leaders have acknowledged the potential security risks associated with quantum computing.

The Dutch government has presented corresponding guidance in the form of its Post-Quantum Cryptography (PQC) migration handbook, which has already requested that critical national infrastructure providers begin migrating to PQC.

With the same proactive intent, the U.S. government has outlined recommendations around migrating to quantum-resistant cryptographic algorithms for firmware signing. The guidance strongly advises the adoption of quantum-resistant cryptography starting in 2025, making it a mandatory standard by 2030.

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