Heeding the Call: The Escalating Cadence of US Government Warnings on Quantum Risks

Blog Post

The US Government has been increasingly concerned about the quantum threat to national security, and this mounting apprehension is evident in the growing cadence of warnings and publications in recent years. From the National Quantum Initiative (NQI) Act in December 2018 to the latest National Cybersecurity Strategy Implementation Plan in July 2023, the urgency of addressing quantum security risks has intensified.


A key data point showcasing this urgency is the surge in publications within a short timeframe. The number more than doubled from three between 2018 and early 2021, to seven from 2021 to 2023. Informed by both public and classified data, the US Government’s accelerated quantum directives and legislation address the emerging threat.


Recent bipartisan efforts to fund quantum research and security highlight the seriousness of the situation. In a hyper-partisan era, politicians from both sides rallying behind quantum security initiatives underscores the need for swift, decisive action. This unusual consensus signals the US Government’s commitment to addressing potential quantum risks facing its citizens and businesses.


The provided list of publications emphasizes the government’s focus on quantum security and serves as a call to action for the public and private sectors to confront the quantum threat. The US Government is raising awareness and taking active steps to develop strategies, standards, and technologies to counter these risks, making it clear that addressing the quantum threat is a priority that must not be overlooked.


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US Government Publications Related to Quantum Risk


National Cybersecurity Strategy Implementation Plan

White House National Cybersecurity Strategy (March 2023)

NSM-10 on Promoting United States Leadership in Quantum Computing While Mitigating Risks to Vulnerable Cryptographic Systems

Executive Order 14073 National Quantum Initiative Advisory Committee

NSM-8 National Security Memorandum

HR 7535 Quantum Computing Cybersecurity Preparedness Act

  • “The rapid progress of quantum computing suggests the potential for adversaries of the United States to steal sensitive encrypted data today using classical computers, and wait until sufficiently powerful quantum systems are available  to decrypt it.”, 18 April 2022
  • https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/house-bill/7535/text

Executive Order 14028: Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Insights on Quantum Cryptography

NISTIR 8309: Post-Quantum Cryptography Standardization

  • “In recent years, there has been steady progress in building quantum computers. If large-scale quantum computers are realized, they would threaten the security of many commonly-used public-key cryptosystems. Key-establishment schemes and digital signatures based on factoring, discrete logarithms, and elliptic curve cryptography will be the most severely affected.” (p. 1), January 2021
  • https://csrc.nist.gov/publications/detail/nistir/8309/final
  • https://doi.org/10.6028/NIST.IR.8309

National Strategy for Quantum Information Science

  • “The key next step will be to develop agency-level plans that address the identified approaches and policy opportunities in the next section, which will be integrated into an overall strategic plan. This will enable new opportunities on a ten-year horizon, possibly including: the development of quantum processors which may enable limited computing applications; new sensors for biotechnology and defense; next-generation positioning, navigation, and timing systems for military and commercial applications; new approaches to understanding materials, chemistry, and even gravity through quantum information theory; novel algorithms for machine learning and optimization; and transformative cyber security systems including quantum-resistant cryptography in response to developments in QIS.” (p. 6), December 2018
  • https://www.quantum.gov/
  • https://www.quantum.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/2018_NSTC_National_Strategic_Overview_QIS.pdf

National Quantum Initiative (NQI) Act

  • “The purpose of this Act is to provide for a coordinated Federal program to accelerate quantum research and development for the economic and national security of the United States. …5) promoting the development of international standards for quantum information science and technology security- .” (Section 2(a)(2)), 21 December 2018
  • https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/6227/text