Cryptography is a crucial part of modern life as the foundation of computer security. While often unnoticed by the general public, we constantly rely on it for a wide variety of purposes from messaging our friends to protecting critical infrastructure. Failures of these systems pose a great risk to individuals as well as society as a whole; as such, it is crucial that the risk of such possibly catastrophic security breaches be minimized at all cost. One particular cause of concern is the possible emergence of large-scale quantum computers, which would be capable of breaking most security systems deployed on the internet today. The creation of cryptographic technology and its transfer from theory to practice involves solving several major subproblems, ranging from the cryptanalysis of purported hard problems to provable security reductions to the construction of efficient and reliable soft- and hardware implementations. In the end, security is upper-bounded by the weakest link in this chain, and it is often required to consider high- and low-level aspects jointly to achieve the best outcome overall.

The Focus Group of Rudolf Mößbauer Tenure Track Professor Lorenz Panny works towards this goal: Ultimately eradicating sources of insecurity due to improper use of cryptography, or use of improper cryptography, with a particular focus on the rapidly developing field of post-quantum cryptography.