The future of machine identity management in the quantum era

Posted by Mike Hathaway on Jan 16, 2024 10:15:00 AM

Quantum computing has sparked a surge of excitement, trepidation and anticipation across various industries. It promises revolutionary advancements in medicine, material science and artificial intelligence (AI).

Alongside its transformative potential, quantum computing poses significant challenges - specifically for cybersecurity. Its immense computational power renders current cryptographic algorithms obsolete, threatening to disrupt the very foundations of digital trust.


In the face of this quantum revolution, machine identity management (MIM) stands as a critical line of defence for organisations. MIM is the process of managing the identities of non-human entities, such as servers, applications and devices across the Internet of Things (IoT). These machine identities are essential to maintain secure communication, access control, and data protection.

As a provider of digital trust and public key infrastructure (PKI) solutions, Ascertia is committed to finding and implementing solutions that adapt to the coming changes brought about by quantum computing.

How will quantum computing impact MIM?

Quantum computing brings with it a multitude of cybersecurity impacts.

On the one hand, their sheer brute force computational power will make breaking current robust encryption methods easy. Those algorithms have protected business and sensitive data for decades. Once widely available, quantum computers will allow attackers to easily steal and decrypt sensitive data or compromise systems.

On the other hand, quantum computers will pave the way for new machine identity use cases. This will be particularly important for scenario modelling in financial services, weather and healthcare.

Navigating quantum’s complex landscape is going to be an uphill battle. Organisations must adopt a proactive approach to MIM in the era of quantum computing. Here are a few critical considerations for ensuring the continued security of machine identities:

Transition to post-quantum cryptography

In our recent Quantum Computing Guide, we speak in-depth about post-quantum cryptography. While no current quantum-proof algorithms have been approved for widespread use, their development has been in the works for quite some time.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is in the process of standardising post-quantum cryptography (PQC) algorithms, designing them to resist attacks specifically from quantum computers and offer a vital safeguard for machine identities.

With these incoming changes in mind, organisations should begin planning and implementing a transition to PQC algorithms as soon as possible.

Ascertia is actively involved in the development of PQC algorithms. Our MIM platform seamlessly integrates with PQC libraries and supports emerging PQC standards, ensuring organisations can confidently transition to quantum-resistant encryption.

Enhance Identity and Access Management (IAM) practices

Robust IAM practices are and will continue to be essential for protecting machine identities. Improving these protocols includes implementing robust authentication mechanisms, such as multi-factor authentication, and enforcing least privilege principles, limiting access to sensitive resources.

Ascertia’s MIM platform strengthens IAM practices by leveraging advanced authentication mechanisms, such as multi-factor authentication and hardware security tokens, to verify machine identity authenticity. Our platform also enforces least privilege principles to control access to sensitive resources and minimise the attack surface.

Embracing machine learning and automation

Automating MIM processes can help organisations manage the growing complexity of machine identities and IoT devices. Automation can help ensure security policies are consistently applied and will help quickly identify and remediate any vulnerabilities.

Ascertia’s MIM platform automates key tasks, including:

  • Machine identity provisioning
  • Configuration
  • Auditing

This automation reduces manual errors and ensures consistent policy enforcement across an organisation’s network. Additionally, automated workflows help businesses efficiently manage the growing complexity of machine identities.

Continuous monitoring and threat intelligence

Organisations must continuously monitor their networks for suspicious activity and stay informed about potential and emerging cybersecurity threats. Threat intelligence feeds can provide valuable insights into potential vulnerabilities and attack methods.

Ascertia’s MIM solution provides comprehensive visibility into machine identity activity. It enables organisations to continuously monitor networks for suspicious behaviour. In addition, our platform integrates with various threat intelligence feeds, helping you stay informed about emerging threats and proactively identify potential vulnerabilities.

Collaborate with industry partners and standards bodies

We are stronger together. Active participation in industry forums and collaboration with standards bodies can help organisations stay informed on the latest developments in quantum computing and MIM security.

We actively collaborate with industry partners and standards bodies to foster the development of quantum-resistant MIM solutions. We participate in industry forums, contribute to open-source projects, and work closely with NIST to ensure our MIM solution remains at the forefront of quantum-secure technology.

In addition to these core capabilities, Ascertia offers a range of specialised services to support organisations in their quantum-era MIM journey:

  • Quantum-resistant MIM assessments: We conduct comprehensive assessments of organisations’ current MIM posture, identifying vulnerabilities and recommending strategies for transitioning to quantum-resistant MIM infrastructures.
  • Quantum-resistant MIM implementation: We partner with organisations to implement quantum-resistant MIM solutions, ensuring a smooth transition and seamless integration with existing IT infrastructures.
  • Quantum-resistant MIM training and consulting: Ascertia provides expert training and consulting services to help organisations build the necessary knowledge and skills to manage machine identities securely in the post-quantum landscape.

Be prepared for the quantum era with Ascertia

Our commitment to innovation and collaboration positions us as a trusted partner for global organisations seeking to secure their machine identities and navigate the complexities of quantum computing. With our comprehensive MIM platform, specialised services, and active engagement in the industry, Ascertia empowers organisations to safeguard their critical assets and maintain their competitive edge in the post-quantum era.

Learn more about machine identities in our latest eBook, and discover more about quantum computing and its impact on digital trust in our guide to quantum computing.