UPDATED 20:06 EDT / MARCH 16 2023


Cloudflare offers free post-quantum cryptography protection to customers

Content delivery network provider Cloudflare Inc. today announced it will provide post-quantum cryptography for free by default to all customers to help secure their websites, application programming interfaces, cloud tools and remote employees against future threats.

Cloudflare made the commitment ahead of the 2023 Summit for Democracy in support of a more responsive and resilient internet. As part of its commitment, Cloudflare also said it would publish vendor-neutral roadmaps based on National Institute of Standards and Technology standards to help businesses secure any connections that it doesn’t protect.

The problem Cloudflare is looking to tackle is one where future quantum computers, which perform complex computations at an exponentially faster rate than today’s machines, are expected to become advanced enough in the coming years to decrypt much of the encrypted data on the internet. A national security memorandum signed by U.S. President Joe Biden in May mandated government agencies, and encouraged the private sector, to prepare for quantum computers that could break encryption in the future.

The day when quantum computers can crack existing cryptography may still be some time off, but companies are aware that the window to prepare for that day is slowly closing. Unfortunately, Cloudflare claims, some emerging vendors want to capitalize on this to charge unnecessarily high fees that limit access and affordability for businesses, nonprofits and civil society organizations.

“There are companies out there that want to charge CISOs exorbitant amounts to prepare for future attacks from quantum computers,” Matthew Prince, co-founder and chief executive officer of Cloudflare, said in a statement. “At Cloudflare, we believe that privacy should be a human right and that post-quantum security should be the new baseline for the Internet–not an exploitative expense for businesses. That’s why we are promising today to help equip businesses as well as nonprofits and users with the most advanced cryptography available and to never charge for it.”

Cloudflare has assisted in developing post-quantum cryptography standards since 2018 and made post-quantum cryptography available as a beta test to interested customers in 2022. The company claims that more than 99% of websites on the internet that already support NIST-approved post-quantum cryptography for their connections are powered by Cloudflare, and more than 1 billion HTTP requests have been protected with its post-quantum cryptography since 2019.

Image: Cloudflare

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