Terms of Reference for ETSI TC Cyber Working Group for Quantum-Safe Cryptography (ETSI TC Cyber WG-QSC)

Approved at ETSI CYBER#09, 02/17

1.    Responsibility

The primary responsibilities of ETSI TC Cyber WG-QSC are to make assessments and recommendations on the various proposals from industry and academia regarding real-world deployments of quantum-safe cryptography, including practical properties, (such as efficiency, functionality, agility, etc.), security properties, appropriateness of certain quantum-safe cryptographic primitives to various application domains (Internet protocols, wireless systems, resource constrained environments, cloud deployments, big data, etc.)

Activities include:
  • Identification of quantum-safe cryptographic primitives, and the development of a framework for quantum safe algorithms
  • High-level characterization of cryptographic primitives in terms of computational complexity, security assumptions against classical and quantum threats, efficiency and agility
  • Assessment of the suitability of the cryptographic primitives with respect to the quantum safe requirements and applications
  • Threat and risk assessment for real-world use cases
  • Dissemination of guidance and standards documents, and later maintenance of the standardised algorithms under the custodianship of the ETSI TC Security Algorithms Group of Experts (SAGE)
  • Definition of criteria for, and assessment of, the suitability of cryptographic primitives
  • Providing pragmatic comparisons between currently deployed security solutions and various quantum-safe alternatives
  • Providing recommendations regarding the migration of current security systems and sub-systems to quantum-safe equivalents
  • Developing standards where needed for specific quantum-safe implementations
  • Avoiding duplication of work in other ETSI groups on the tasks described above.

2.    Areas of activity

The work of the TC Cyber WG-QSC includes:
  • Quantum-safe cryptographic signatures
  • Quantum-safe key exchange protocols
  • ​Quantum-safe key transport protocols
  • Quantum-safe cryptographic primitives
  • Architectures for quantum-safe cryptographic applications
  • Other areas as needed​

When required, an appropriate liaison with other Technical Bodies will be established. This may include information exchange, consultation or co-ordination.

3.    Organisation and working methods

TC Cyber WG-QSC shall work in accordance with the ETSI Directives and, in particular, the Technical Working Procedures.

4.    Participation

Participation in TC Cyber QSC is open to all ETSI members in accordance with the Technical Working Procedures. Observers and non-members may participate at the discretion of the Chairman in line with clause 1.4 of the Technical Working Procedures.

5.    Collaboration with other bodies (both inside and outside ETSI)

The tasks described above will require liaisons with relevant bodies within ETSI as well as outside ETSI according to the rules prescribed by the ETSI Directives.

Examples are listed below: