Are you looking for information about offers, devices or your account?

Please choose your local Vodafone website

Quantum-Safe Cryptography: Helping customers prepare against future threats

21 Feb 2024Technology news
2 minute read

Today’s threat landscape is constantly changing and while emerging technologies bring a wealth of benefits, they also present potential risks that are important, too.

In the case of quantum computers, their potential to soon solve complex mathematical challenges faster than a traditional computer could also mean that today’s cryptography could become vulnerable.

What is cryptography?

Cryptography is used to hide and code information so that only the intended person can read the message within. You most likely use it daily without even realising, for instance, online banking statements, ecommerce payments, company data encryption, confidential email attachments, and computer passwords are all protected through cryptography.

At Vodafone, we use it to configure and manage our networks and to protect the privacy of our customer data.

This is one of the reasons we’ve teamed up with IBM. We want to understand where we’re using cryptography and which systems are vulnerable so that we can transition to quantum-safe cryptography — cryptography that is resistant to attacks by both traditional computers and future cryptographically relevant quantum computers, keeping information secure.

“Store now, decrypt later”

While quantum computers can’t yet crack today’s encryption standards, Vodafone and IBM both agree it is important that people start preparing and planning now.

“There is plenty of evidence of people harvesting data now in anticipation of being able to decrypt it later. This is the so called ‘store now, decrypt later’ threat,” explains Luke Ibbetson, Head of Research and Development at Vodafone.

“No reason for panic,” adds Lory Thorpe, Senior Strategy Consultant at IBM Quantum. “But there is a very good reason for preparation.”

Already making good progress, IBM has contributed three of the four quantum-resistant cryptographic algorithms selected by US-based standards organisation NIST (The National Institute of Standards and Technology) for standardisation this year.

In parallel, Vodafone and IBM are also working together on an industry level, leading the GSMA Post-Quantum Telco Network Taskforce, which will support our partners and customers on their quantum-safe journey, particularly as post-quantum cryptography is adopted across the global telecommunications supply chain.

Watch as Luke and Lory tell us more.


To hear more about the challenges and opportunities the quantum era brings for governments and the telecoms industry, join our seminar at MWC: 26th February 2024, 14.30 - 17.00 CET in Hall 8, Fira Gran Via, Barcelona.

  • Cyber security
  • Data
  • Innovation
  • Partnerships
  • Protecting people
  • Security
  • Services
  • Technology
  • Privacy
  • Protecting data
  • SDGs
  • SDG 17
  • SDG 9

More stories

No results found