The US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) announced several candidate Post-Quantum Cryptographic (PQC) algorithms for standardization this summer, and it is nearing the end of a 5-year process. As the final rounds reach their conclusion, global technology intelligence firm ABI Research expects the fledgling PQC market to shift into high gear over the next 5 years as vendors start to fast-track product development plans for commercialization. Global revenues for PQC are expected to grow 12% from 2022 to 2023 and 20% between 2026-2027.
"NIST is the foremost standard development organization leading PQC algorithm development, and much hinges on the successful conclusion of this process, after which work on algorithm integration and the updating of protocols can be advanced by other organizations, industry consortia, and open source movements," said Michela Menting, Cybersecurity Applications Research Director at ABI Research. "The progress of work in these fora will be a sign of technology maturity, and the goal for vendors will be to present "plug and play" types of technologies for their respective industries, making for easier commercial integration and adoption."
Standards and policy recommendations are important drivers for market adoption, stimulating ecosystems, and creating a dynamic and domino effect. They provide the impetus for developing frameworks and timelines around which companies can start strategizing technology integration/migration, creating transition road maps, appointing responsible parties, and allocating dedicated budgets.
The commercial cryptography landscape is set to change radically. The nascent PQC market is already offering many different solutions today, from software libraries to silicon IP and SoC design for semiconductors to initial applications around messaging, VPNs, key management, blockchain, and IoT. Key vendors focused on productizing PQC solutions include niche startups like CryptoNext Security, Crypto Quantique, PQShield, PQ Solutions, Quantropi, and Quantum Xchange as well as established security and technology vendors such as Crypto4A, Entrust, IBM, Thales, and Utimaco, among others.
"To commercialize PQC, vendors still have several challenges to navigate, but the market is ripening, and the first mover advantage will provide lucrative opportunities. First in line are those industries where the lifespan of devices (such as automotive applications) will see the advent of attack-capable quantum computers. Implementing a PQC strategy for those products is imperative today, and the market is quickly positioning itself to deliver on those demands," Menting concludes.