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Keyfactor Introduces PQC Lab: A Post-Quantum PKI Ready in Minutes

Tech Updates

Today, we’re excited to announce the launch of PQC Lab on Azure, a free, SaaS-based sandbox that enables teams to generate a PQC-ready CA and start issuing quantum-resilient certificates in just minutes. In this blog post, we explore why we launched PQC Lab and how it can help you on your journey to quantum-safe security.

Ready to get started now? Check out PQC Lab on Azure and click ‘Test Drive’ to begin.

A bit about quantum

Big tech firms and nation-states alike are in a race to bring useful quantum computing to the world. Why? Because quantum computers have the potential to solve incredibly complex problems. They could lead to the discovery of new drugs or cures to complex diseases – or expedite time-consuming, laborious processes thanks to the unrivaled speed they offer.

There’s just one problem.

Quantum computers will make most of the world’s existing encryption algorithms obsolete. And while they haven’t reached commercial viability just yet, if the past teaches us anything, where there’s a will (and a wallet), there’s a way. Experts predict that cryptographically relevant quantum computers (CRQC) will be available by 2030-35, with several milestones quickly advancing that timeline.

That’s in the future, so why start thinking about it now?

Why it's time to start preparing for PQC

Whether quantum computers become capable of cracking modern encryption in five years or ten, the transition to new quantum-resilient standards is already underway. Here are the key reasons why organizations need to start preparing now:

  • Next-generation cryptography is here: Regulatory bodies like NIST are expected to standardize the first set of quantum-resilient algorithms within the next year, and standardization bodies around the world will quickly follow suit.
  • Government mandates are coming: Government agencies, such as the NSA, have already released expected timelines for vendors to implement quantum-resilient measures for firmware and software signing, web and cloud services, networking equipment, and operating systems.
  • The transition won’t be quick (or easy): PQC standards and technologies will take years to implement. Think of the deprecation of SHA-1 in 2011. Many organizations still haven’t migrated to SHA-2, and the transition to post-quantum cryptography is on an entirely different scale.
  • The threat is already here: Under-the-radar “steal now, decrypt later” attacks give threat actors the ability to harvest and store encrypted data now with the aim of decrypting it when a cryptographically relevant quantum computer becomes available.

Information like bank account numbers, social security numbers, and other sensitive information will still be relevant, and valuable, many years after it was stolen.

Despite NIST, CSA, and others recommending that organizations begin PQC preparations now, a recent study by Keyfactor on the State of Quantum Readiness in 2024 shows that only 23% have started. That’s why we created PQC Lab on Azure.

Introducing PQC Lab on Azure

Keyfactor has developed many of the foundational technologies that will help secure organizations in the quantum era, including quantum-resilient public key infrastructure (PKI), digital signing, and certificate lifecycle management solutions.

To help organizations on their journey to PQC readiness, we introduced PQC Lab, a free SaaS-based version of Keyfactor’s PKI platform, EJBCA Enterprise, that’s pre-configured to issue quantum-resilient certificates. The first-of-its-kind offering makes it easy for developers, IT, and security teams to get hands on with post-quantum cryptography in a safe sandbox environment, without the effort or expense of setting it up themselves.

As technology vendors and businesses start planning for migration, testing quantum-resilient measures in a safe environment is a critical step in the process. PQC Lab provides a quick and easy way for users to test and better understand the impacts of these changes on their infrastructure, without impacting production environments.

How to get started with PQC Lab

PQC Lab is available on the Azure Marketplace, even for those without an Azure subscription. All you need is a valid Microsoft Account. The Test Drive comes already provisioned, so you don’t need to download or set it up. It takes only 30 minutes to start up, then you have 30 days to take full advantage of the sandbox environment.

To get started, navigate to Keyfactor PQC Lab on the Azure Marketplace and click ‘Test Drive’. Once you’re up and running, check out the Quick Start Guide and step-by-step tutorial video to help you get the most out of your 30-day sandbox. The test drive instance will automatically terminate after 30 days.

Happy testing 😊