The National Institute of Standards and Technology is following the example of the NSA, which last year announced it was time to develop and eventually transition to new cryptographic algorithms as the new and rapidly developing field of quantum computing begins to deprecate the current, standard algorithms.
This marks the beginning of a new era of cryptography, considering our current, tested and proven algorithms are utterly essential to the security of digital information transmission in everyday life. It is the fundamental protection we use on a daily basis to keep anything from personal information, credit card or banking information safe as it travels across the internet. Without effective cryptography to protect sensitive information, entire multi-trillion dollar businesses which rely upon security, such as internet commerce and banking, become threatened to extinction. Another important set of technologies which rely upon cryptography are anonymity and privacy services, such as VPN and TOR. Without cryptography, we are stripped of protection and left merciless before the powers of big government and corporate surveillance.
This is why the advent of quantum computing comes as a frightening revelation to many within the information technology industry. Regular digital computers function by using basic electronic units called